Commercial Floriculture Survey Results Released

June 3, 2005 - 06:33

Results of the latest USDA/National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Floriculture Crops 2004 Summary show the wholesale value of domestic floriculture production rose 2 percent in 2004 compared to the revised 2003 valuation. A year ago, production value fell less than 1 percent.

Crop Value. The total crop value for all domestic growers with $10,000 or more in sales in the 36 states included in the survey is estimated to be $5.18 billion for 2004, compared with $5.08 billion for 2003. The two top states were California (up less than 1 percent) and Florida (down 1 percent for a second straight year), followed by Michigan, Texas and New York. These five states accounted for more than half (52 percent) of the total value.

Bedding and garden plants recorded a 4 percent increase in wholesale value and accounted for the largest proportion, 52 percent, of the wholesale value of finished crops at $2.53 billion wholesale value. Potted flowering plants were up 1 percent at $815 million. The foliage category was valued at $639 million in 2004, down 2 percent from the estimate of a year ago. The value of cut flowers was virtually unchanged at $422 million, while cut cultivated greens lost 9 percent to $92.4 million.

Grower Numbers. The number of growers declined 7 percent to 11,099 from a revised count of 11,996. The larger growers, those with sales of $100,000 or more, dropped from 4,732 to 4,579. Again this year, there were drops in all sales size groups. Overall, 77 percent of the operations used some hired labor. The average number of hired workers employed on operations increased to 15.4, up from a revised 14.8 in 2003.

The larger growers, defined as those with a total wholesale value exceeding $100,000 in sales, reached $4.89 billion in sales in 2004, up 2 percent from 2003. They comprised 41 percent of all growers and accounted for 94 percent of the total value of floriculture crops. California had 21 percent of the total wholesale value for the 36 states surveyed, followed by Florida with 16 percent. Michigan, Texas and Ohio rounded out the top five states, accounting for 7, 6 and 4 percent, respectively.

In 2004, the number of bedding and garden plant growers with sales of $100,000 or more was down 67 to 3,121; the number of growers of herbaceous perennials rose from 2,629 in 2003 to 2,666 in 2004; foliage growers were down by 81 to 1,505; cut flower growers fell by 5 to 536; cut cultivated greens growers rose by 2 to 202; and potted flowering plant growers fell by 94 to 2,178.

A breakdown of the number of growers of propagative materials with sales exceeding $100,000 showed 16 cut flower growers (down 2 from 2003); 178 growers of potted flowering plants (down 17); 262 growers of annual bedding/garden plants (up 10); 127 growing herbaceous perennials (down 25); 86 foliage growers (up 1); and 2 growers of cut cultivated greens (down 3). Total value of propagative material sales grew 5 percent in 2004 compared to 2003.

Top Floral Products. In the bedding/garden plants segment, potted geraniums (both from cuttings and seed) accounted for the highest value followed by pansy/viola flats. The top three-valued cut, in order, were lilies, roses and tulips. Poinsettias were the highest valued potted flowering plant, at $248 million. Leatherleaf ferns made up $47.3 million of the cut cultivated greens category. Types of foliage plants are not reported.

The Survey & Report. The Commercial Floriculture Survey was significantly revised in 2000 to its current coverage. All known growers in the 36 selected states with sales exceeding $10,000 are included.

USDA/NASS surveys provide important information for industry planners. They also help SAF lobby more effectively on Capitol Hill. For instance, SAF uses the statistic that floriculture and nursery crops combined are the third largest U.S. crop, surpassed only by corn and soybeans in crop value when speaking in congressional offices and to regulatory agencies. Ira Silvergleit, SAF’s director of research, was selected by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics.

Copies of the report are available from the USDA/NASS at (800) 999-6779 and atwww.usda.gov/nass by following the links for Floriculture Crops under Publications and Reports by Commodity.

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