Horticulture Now a $10 Billion Industry
Released: April 4, 2000
For more information contact: us at 1-800-835-2612.
According to the 1998 Census of Horticultural Specialties, producers of horticultural products accounted for $10.6 billion in sales, nationally. The 1998 Census of Horticulture Specialties, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), provides a wide variety of data relating to methods of production, production expenses, sales, number of operations by size, and area in production. Montana total sales of horticultural products were placed at $15.7 million.

The primary objective of the horticultural specialties census is to obtain a comprehensive and detailed picture of the horticultural sector of the economy. It is the only source of detailed production and sales data at the national level. The census of horticultural specialties provides detailed statistics to government agencies, academia, nursery and floriculture industries, and others on the size and structure of the horticulture industry for planning, policymaking, research, and market analysis.

Some of the highlights from this special census were:
  • California topped the sales charts, capturing slightly over 21 percent of the $10.6 billion of horticultural specialties sold in 1998.

  • Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas came in second through fifth, respectively, in sales.
  • Floriculture (bedding and garden plants, potted flowering plants, foliage plants, cut flowers, and cut cultivated greens) accounted for 42 percent of the horticultural specialty sales.

  • The value of horticultural specialty crops increased dramatically from the previous horticultural census, from $4.8 billion in 1988 to $10.6 billion in 1998. This nearly $6 billion growth represents a 221 percent increase. (Christmas trees were not included in the 1988 census.)
The census of horticultural specialties contains information on floriculture, nursery, and other specialty crops such as sod, mushrooms, food crops produced under glass or other protection, transplants of commercial production, Christmas trees, and seeds. To discover the wealth of horticultural and other agricultural statistics available from NASS, including hundreds of commodity production and price reports, or to review a full catalog of NASS products and services, visit the NASS Home Page at http://www.nass.usda.gov. The 1998 Census of Horticultural Specialties, 1997 Census of Agriculture reports, State and County Profiles, Highlights, and a slide show presenting Quick Facts are accessible by clicking "Census of Agriculture." For other information, e-mail nass-mt@nass.usda.gov or call 1-800-835-2612.

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