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How Was Last Weekend?

Chris Beytes
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If you receive Acres Online, you see that plea each Monday in your inbox asking you to please send in a rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) of your sales for the past weekend. I tally all your numbers and publish the results each week in my newsletter. I’ve been doing it since 2012 and have about 100 of you conditioned to respond consistently. Others of you weigh in when the mood strikes you. The rest of you are too busy or haven’t yet figured how the 1 to 10 rating systems works or are simply happy living vicariously through others.

Regardless, Spring ’22 is almost wrapped up as I write this, so I thought I’d tell you how your season went, just in case you were too busy living through it to notice. (Watch for Acres Online in early July for the season-long final score.)

April. Even though spring starts in February in warmer climates, I start the survey in April because that’s when sales really get rolling, and even Northern growers can have a good early April weekend.

April 2-3 scored 6.2 in the U.S. and 4.4 in Canada. “All in all, it was not a terrific weekend nationwide, although regionally some of you did very well,” I summarized. Seven of you scored it a perfect 10 and four of you gave it a 9 (four of you also gave it a 1).

April 9-10, the weekend before Easter, was “Pretty darned miserable for many of you,” I wrote of the scores of 6.2 U.S/5.7 Canada. Comparing this score to 2019 (6.8/7.5), 2018 (4.1/3.5) and 2017 (6.8/7.2), I surmised that “… perhaps
the lesson here is that we’re back to ‘normal,’ meaning back to being most impacted by the weather, not by pandemic-induced demand.” How true that turned out to be!

Easter weekend, April 16-17, was a “mixed bag,” scoring a “pretty ugly” 6.5/4.7. I’d expect that sort of score for a regular ugly weekend, not for Easter weekend. But it wasn’t all bad—eight of you sent in perfect 10s. New England did very well as a region—8.7.

For April 23-24 I wrote, “Things are looking up—at least in the U.S.” where you scored 7.5 and 22% of you sent in perfect 10s. Canada, meanwhile, scored 4.3. Darned weather!

May. A good May can make your year. But start off slow and you spend the rest of the season hoping to make up for it.

April 30-May 1 was “decent” in the U.S. (7.4) and unpleasant in all of Canada (4.2) except British Columbia, which scored 7.1, including a pair of 9s and an 8. The foul weather in Canada lingered through the entire month of April, making it the worst on record in a few spots.

Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7-8, earned a 7.7/7.8. It was a mixed bag of scores and weather seemed to make all the difference. Responses were split between outstanding and miserable. My favorite comment of the week came from John Derrick of Victoria, British Columbia, who called 2022 the “strangest year I have seen in 40 years.”

For May 14-15, “crazy” was the word of the week. The scores were a solid 8.3 in the U.S. and a way-too-low-for-mid-May 5.7 in Canada. Weather yet again was the cause. Still, it was another record-breaking weekend for many, with 44 of you (38%) sending in perfect 10s.

By the time the tallying was done for May 21-22, we’d achieved the reasonable scores of 7.1/7.7. Nothing compared to the last two years (8.9/8.9 in 2021 and 9.2/9.4 in 2020), but not far from the 10-year average of 7.8/8.4 for this weekend.

The results for Memorial Day, May 28-29, were 8.3 in the U.S. and 8.5 in Canada. Hot dog! That’s nicely above the 10-year average of 8.0/8.3. And believe it or not, it beat 2021, which was a just-okay 7.5/8.0 (that’s probably because you had nothing left to sell).

As for June, I’m just now tallying the results for June 4-5, which I’m sending out in a couple days. I’ll give you a sneak peek at the results: It’s looking like 8.6 in the U.S. and 8.4 in Canada—a fantastic start to June!

How to sum up 2022? Thankfully, customers still want our products! But like I said back in April, it looks like we’re back to “normal”—meaning weather is still king. GT

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