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As the industry struggles to find and retain quality labor, it’s critical that growers discover ways to become more efficient. In our exclusive 2018 State of the Industry survey, more than three quarters of responders said that labor was the greatest problem facing the industry in 2019. Increased expenses came in as the second-greatest problem followed by weather.

Perhaps that’s why more than half of those surveyed reported no change to their production acreage.

Since the lack of labor has created such a quandary for the industry, some 43 percent of responders said they’d like to improve automation at their nurseries.

Labor may be causing some frustration, but there is some positive news. Many responders reported increased profits over last year and expect sales and profits to increase in 2019.

Pages 19-29 reveal what growers of different sizes across North America experienced in 2018 including production and crops; sales and profits; prices and marketing; and labor.

If you own or manage a wholesale nursery, whose primary business is the sale of trees, shrubs and perennials, and you didn’t receive a link to this year’s State of the Industry survey, please send an email to krodda@gie.net to be added to the list.