This year, about 9% fewer growers reported projected increased sales for 2016 compared with last year. However, we also see a very similar increase in growers projecting flat sales this year, resulting in about the same number of growers who have flat or increased sales as of last year. In contrast, in 2013, 21% of growers reported a decrease in sales, almost triple that of the 2014-2016 results. Overall, revenues have remained relatively stable over the past three years.
Growers were about equally affected by weather this year compared to last year, possibly due to the drought that’s plagued much of the U.S. and Canada in recent years. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of the beginning of September, parts of the West Coast and New England are still experiencing Exceptional Drought (D4) and with many others in the West ranging from Abnormally Dry (D0) to Extreme Drought (D3, or one step below Exceptional Drought). However, Texas is in the clear after the heavy rainfall last year. The Canadian Drought Monitor’s most recent report as of press time (July 31) showed no provinces with higher than a Severe Drought (D2), with the affected areas spread out through the country. With the recent predictions that La Niña — which brings dry weather patterns —may not occur after all, we may see weather concerns abate in some areas.