Plant Materials Center Update: January 19, 2023

Plant Cooler 1.20.22
Plant Cooler 1.20.22

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for January 19, 2023:

Sales

As of 1/18/23 sales were $1,604,354. That is an increase from a comparable time last year when sales were $1,509,343. Current sales have exceeded the sales budget for the fiscal year of $1,411,300 by 14% and are climbing.

Total sales are composed of 320 individual orders which is down from this time last year when there were 457 orders. That might sound concerning but it is not. It is good news since it shows an increase in the average price per order and results in fewer orders to build.

Plant orders continue to be received, increasing the likelihood that sales for the year will exceed last year’s sales record.

December Financial Reports

The financial reports for December have been completed. Revenue for the current fiscal year to date is trailing last year slightly but that is temporary. Operating Revenue as of 12/31/22 was $210,949 compared to $237,605 at this time last year. Revenue will increase as the PMC receives payment for plants shipped. That is important since expenses are also up.

As of 12/31/22 total expenses for the PMC were $602,558 compared to $477,754 at this time last year. Some of the increases include a $25,000 payment for Executive Operations that did not occur until later in the year. The cost of Packaging Supplies is also up due to increases in prices and quantity needed. Chemicals and Farm and Nursery Supplies have increased as well for the same reasons.

Staff Wages are up from last year due to a COLA increase that occurred on 7/1/22 and from hiring a Farm Operations Supervisor to replace retiring Bill Mulder who is staying with us for the time being to orient his replacement.

Seasonal Labor is also up from $104,001 last year to $119,543 this year. That is due to an increase in the minimum wage on 1/1/22, more weeding needed, and an increase in live stake processing in the fall.  Both Wage line items are within budget, however.

In summary, increasing costs and production have resulted in higher expenses that will be offset by increased sales.

Harvest Continues

As of 1/17/23, the PMC has harvested 857,849 plants this season. So far, a total of 1,169,337 have been sold and that number should exceed 1.5 million before the end of the season. All in all, it appears that harvest is on track and on schedule.

The two big factors that could adversely affect that are time lost due to weather or a labor shortage. Hopefully, neither will happen but that might not be entirely within our control. Time will tell.

Operations

All equipment and facilities are working normally, with the exception of a spring on a large overhead door that is undergoing repair. Operational status can change suddenly, just like the spring on the overhead door did!

What’s Ahead

The PMC has (hopefully) a bit less than 2 months of harvest left.  Along the way, it has almost 3/4 million plants to harvest and over 1 million plants to pull for orders and ship. When the glorious day arrives that the last plant runs down the line in the packing shed there will be unbridled celebration. After the merriment subsides, it will be time for field cleanup and to begin preparations for transplanting. Until then it is all about finishing harvest.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can find older posts about the Plant Materials Center at https://hub.wadistricts.org/topics/wacd/pmc/

Jim Brown
Director of Nursery Operations