Results of the latest United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Floriculture Crops 2005 Summary, reported by the Society of American Florists (SAF), show the wholesale value of domestic floriculture production inched ahead 1 percent in 2005 compared to the revised 2004 valuation. A year ago, production value increased 2 percent over the previous year.
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 $5.36 billion for 2005, compared to $5.28 billion for 2004. The top two states were California (down 3 percent) and Florida (up 10 percent), followed by Michigan, Texas and New York. These five states accounted for more than half (53 percent) of the total value.
Bedding and garden plants recorded a 2-percent increase in wholesale value and accounted for the largest proportion of finished floriculture value (51 percent) of the wholesale value of finished crops at $2.61 billion wholesale value. Potted flowering plants increased 1 percent at $809 million. The foliage plant category was valued at $721 million in 2005, up 5 percent from a year ago. The value of cut flowers was down 4 percent at $397 million, while cut cultivated greens gained 2 percent to $105 million.
The number of growers declined 7 percent to 10,563 from a revised count of 11,385. The larger growers, those with sales of $100,000 or more, dropped from 4,612 to 4,412. Again this year, there were drops in all sales size groups. Overall, 78 percent of the operations used some hired labor. The average number of hired workers employed on operations increased to 15.5, up from a revised 15.0 in 2004.
The larger growers, defined as those with a total wholesale value exceeding $100,000 in sales, reached $5.08 billion in sales in 2005, up 2 percent from 2004. They comprised 42 percent of all growers and accounted for 95 percent of the total value of floriculture crops. California had 19.4 percent of the total wholesale value for the 36 states surveyed, followed by Florida with 18.9 percent. Michigan, Texas and Ohio rounded out the top five states accounting for 7 percent, 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
In 2005, the number of bedding and garden plant growers with sales of $100,000 or more was down 143 to 3,043; the number of growers of herbaceous perennials fell from 2,738 in 2004 to 2,665 in 2005; foliage growers were down by 42 to 1,472; cut flower growers fell by 44 to 498; cut cultivated greens growers fell by 6 to 196; and potted flowering plant growers fell by 115 to 2,103.
A breakdown of the number of growers of propagative materials with sales exceeding $100,000 showed 15 cut flower growers (down 3 from 2004); 170 growers of potted flowering plants (down 9); 242 of annual bedding/garden plants (down 26); 128 growing herbaceous perennials (down 6); 69 foliage growers (down 22); and 4 of cut cultivated greens (up 1). Total value of propagative material sales grew 2 percent in 2005 compared to 2004.
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 flowers, in order, were lilies, tulips and roses. Poinsettias were the highest valued potted flowering plant at $242 million. Leatherleaf ferns made up $50.2 million of the cut cultivated greens category. Types of foliage plants are not reported.
Copies of the report are available from the USDA-NASS at (800) 999-6779 and at www.usda.gov/nass  by following the links for Floriculture Crops under Publications and Reports by Commodity.