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Conference Name Greenhouse Business Analysis and Benchmarks

Robin Brumfield


Competition in the nursery and greenhouse industry has become fierce. The dominance of big box stores has put downward pressure on prices while costs are increasing. To stay competitive, it is essential to develop management and business analysis competency among greenhouse businesses. Comprehensive financial data and market analysis for the greenhouse industry are needed to enable managers to evaluate their businesses and make wise business decisions. These data will also allow us to investigate operating efficiency (including input resources, labor, land, marketing practices, etc.), assess profitability and financial risks of greenhouse businesses, and provide valuable information to researchers and government officials for program planning and evaluation purposes. We collected thorough financial data from Northeastern growers according to size and market channel to address these needs. From the data we have established production and financial benchmarks for the Northeastern greenhouse industry using the Rutgers Greenhouse Cost Accounting Program. We used the data to analyze input-output relationships and profitability of greenhouse businesses, to analyze the operation efficiency and dynamics of different types of greenhouse businesses, and assess risks related to different financial management strategies. In addition, we assisted individual participants in identifying strengths and weaknesses of their businesses by helping them evaluate their business´s performance against industry benchmarks, how to track their costs using the Greenhouse Cost Accounting Program, and assisting them in developing strategic planning skills. The analysis methods developed in this project will be applicable to other horticultural business sectors.