Spring is in the air.... In November?
For the Florida nurseryman spring is certainly in the air. Amazingly, plants don't spontaneously appear in the nursery come March. Were busy planting away on those staple spring items including Cordylines, Ferns, and Alocasias. Some items have already been in the soil for 3-4 months like 10" Cordylines and Foxtail Ferns. Why is this important to you the Garden Center retailer? We can't sell it if we don't have it! Prebooks for this spring material have become a standard. Economically, our industry buying trends would be shown as a "Bullish Market". Demand is certainly higher than 2-3 years ago. The past two years we have ran out of material half way through spring for speculative sales. Supply can not be instantly created to meet a current years demand. We as growers would need to be more aggressive planting for next year (2018) assuming market trends will remain. All while our conscious reminds us of hardships endured through the past eight years. The biggest loss a nursery can have is to pay employees to throw material away. Nursery owners have a responsibility to our employees and shareholders to encourage a responsible growth. This is where contract prebooks help pad the books to encourage a higher percent growth than would normally be comfortable. The contract prebook price is better than the speculative list found in spring. For those price hunters. The odds are not in your favor of finding a glut of material in 2017. Catching deals that would beat a prebooked contract price will be few and far between.
In a world of uncertainty and within an agriculture industry where there are more variables in play than any investor would like. We have the opportunity here to pre-plan pricing and availability. One less thing for the retail garden center to deal with. A little extra work planning now can really add up to success for spring 2017.