StatsCan releases nursery and sod production data
Statistics Canada (StatsCan) released data on the sod and nursery sectors in Ontario and Canada. The dataset compares sales and staff numbers from 2014 to 2021.
Canadian sales from nurseries and sod operations to landscape contractors, garden centres, mass merchandisers, nursery stock growers, and other buyers all increased in 2021 compared to 2020. The combined sales ($897,154) have steadily risen over the past six years, but are still below the 2015 peak of $916,472.
Although overall sales are up, the number of nurseries, sod farms, and employees are at the lowest point since 2014-2015, having decreased seven per cent for nurseries, four per cent for sod and another four per cent for employees across both sectors from 2020 to 2021 alone.
Canada’s nursery stock sales topped out at $747,457 in 2021. Historically, numbers had been rising from 2008 to 2015 but then took a dip. Sales hit a low in 2017 but have risen 11 per cent since then. National sod sales reached $149,697 in 2021, up from the past few years but some $13,000 shy of their 2012 peak.
Production was booming in 2011, when the number of nurseries in Canada jumped 78 per cent, from 1,526 to 2,721. It did not last, however, as the number of nurseries has declined steadily since. In 2021, only 1,840 remain, down from 1,993 in 2020.
The story was similar in Ontario where the number of nurseries jumped 55 per cent in 2011 reaching a peak of 820. But again, those numbers began to decline the very next year and in 2021, only 591 nurseries remained.
The number of nursery employees across the country is also falling. In 2021, there were 8,687, down from the 2008 peak of 16,798.