All COVID protocols continue at the WACD Plant Materials Center. There is currently one person in quarantine who should be back early next week. Everyone else is healthy and doing fine. The rate of those testing positive in Skagit County has declined the last week or two but there have been three new cases over the past couple of days. One of the big goals for this harvest has been to make it through without being shut down due to multiple positive cases here. With less than a month to go and a decrease in the spread of the disease locally, that goal may be achieved.
As of 2/9/21, the PMC has booked $1,067,625 in sales. That is down slightly from last year when sales stood at $1,088,209 on 2/11/20. The $20,500 shortfall is less than it was a month ago so there has been some catchup occurring. Maybe that will continue. It is very likely that there will be an additional $33,000 in sales before the season is over, which would allow the PMC to at least achieve its sales budget of $1,100,900.
Financial Reports January 2021
The January financial reports are out and here are a few highlights:
- Statement of Financial Position:
- Current Assets PMC are typical for this time of year.
- Aged Receivables of $90,000 are in good shape. Most of the accounts due are under 30 days and some are under 60 days out. Very little of that is over 60 days past due.
- Prepaid Expenses PMC of $7,769 are advanced quarterly payments to the IRS for income taxes.
- Current Liabilities PMC includes a line titled Due to IRS for the amount of $46,385. Those are funds from the IRS refund of taxes we paid on the 2018 990T, and the duplicated reimbursement of Backup Withholding Taxes from 2015. Even though the IRS has stated that those are our funds and that they did not make a mistake, our accountant thinks otherwise and there is a chance that the IRS could eventually figure that out and want it back. The accountant recommended that we list them as liabilities and put them in a money market fund earmarked accordingly.
- Profit and Loss: It is too early in the shipping season to determine if revenues are on track to meet the budgeted amount for the fiscal year, but based upon sales we should at least come close. There are a few expenses that stand out as exceeding the budget. Accounting Expenses are 175% of budget. The majority of that overage was due to paying for the review the accounting firm is conducting. License and Membership has exceeded its budget some, as well as Packaging Supplies but there should not be too many additional expenses for those categories this fiscal year.
- Income Statement: Revenues on the Income Statement show that they are less than the same time last year. Sales are a little off from the same time last year but not by that much. The main reason for that discrepancy is that customers are delaying receiving their plants until later. As for Expenses on the Income Statement, Accounting costs are more than last year due to the review the accountant has been working on. Expenses are also up for Seasonal Labor Wages in large part due to the 12% increase in the minimum wage last January 1st. Expenses are down for Brokered Stock and Travel, Meals, and Meetings.
The PMC is in its 11th week of harvest and up to now, it has been going pretty well. 3 million plants have been harvested with approximately ½ million still to go. There are a couple of challenges we are facing currently. One is the weather. Nighttime temperatures have dropped into the mid-20’s the past 3 nights and are predicted to continue through the weekend. Most of the ground was frozen too hard to lift plants yesterday except for the 2-0 Doug Fir. It was dense enough with enough foliage to keep the ground from freezing so enough were brought in to keep the line running at least through today. It remains to be seen if that will be the case tomorrow, or Monday.
By the way, the PMC is planning to work Presidents Day if the weather permits. The holiday will be saved to be used when it is less busy. If the weather does not permit lifting plants the crew will not work but the staff will come in to facilitate shipping, pickups, sales, etc.
The other issue to deal with is a tightening ag labor market. One person is leaving the outside crew at the end of the week and a replacement has not been found yet. Preparations are underway to arrange for a person from an ag labor contractor to be brought in if needed.
Life Goes On
As mentioned above, the PMC is encountering its first serious cold snap since harvest started. The ground is frozen hard enough to prevent plants from being lifted out of the ground. There are enough plants in the packing shed to keep everyone busy today. It looks like without anything else coming in today that the crew will probably need to stay home tomorrow due to lack of work. The temperature is predicted to rise above freezing on Sunday so there is a chance that work can resume Monday. That is the nature of this business and there is not much that one can do about it. Fortunately, everything is fully dormant so there is no concern about plants being damaged by the cold as with an autumn cold snap. We should be back to normal next week working to get this harvest completed.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Jim Brown, WACD PMC Nursery Manager