Welcome to the fourth annual Produce Grower State of the Industry report. Inside this issue, you’ll find the latest exclusive research on revenues, market trends, operational challenges and new technology.

Growers are really starting to embrace new tools more than ever in 2019 as they work to improve operations and sales. We’ve seen an uptick in the use of tracking software (13 percentage points over last year), and for the first time this year, we asked growers about the use of e-commerce as consumers continue to embrace online shopping and direct delivery.

You’ll also find new statistics on supplemental lighting as growers look for new ways to improve production. Nearly half of growers aren’t using any kind of supplemental lighting, but 38% have implemented LED lights in their operations.

Growers are also taking note of the latest culinary trends. From gourmet mushrooms to edible flowers to other specialty crops, operations all over the U.S. and Canada are working with chefs, restaurants and ‘foodie’ customers to cater to demand for increasingly diverse foods.

But some things remain the same. Throughout the Produce Grower State of the Industry survey, tomatoes, lettuces and cucumbers have remained the top choices for growers, with herbs moving between the third and fourth spot over the past couple of years. And this year is no different.

As part of the report this year, you’ll also find updates from operations across the U.S. and Canada on how their businesses are faring and how they’re changing with the times. While one grower is moving into the cannabis market, another is specializing in gourmet ginger and yet another is carving out a niche in baby leaf greens and edible flowers.

We hope you’ll find this information helpful as you plan for the coming year and beyond. And we always want to hear about changes you’re making to your operation. If you have a story to tell, please contact us at kspirgen@gie.net. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

Kate Spirgen, Editor | kspirgen@gie.net | 216-393-0277