Census of Horicultural Specialties

The Census of Horticultural Specialties provides detailed, comprehensive production and economic data on the horticulture industry. It expands the scope of data relating to the industry beyond the annual floriculture and periodic nursery and greenhouse programs.

The Census of Horticultural Specialties is a follow on survey of the census of agriculture. The target population is all farms and ranches in the 50 states reporting $10,000 or more of sales of horticultural specialty products. Most of these are identified from the preceding census of agriculture. The list is supplemented with additional operations believed to be producing horticultural products but without sales information to accurately determine their eligibility.


The Census of Horticultural Specialties publication is released at the end of the year the data are collected. It is part of a series of publications from the census of agriculture and three follow on studies. It is labeled Volume 3, Special Studies, Part 2. Data are provided for all items for the U.S. and by state. Some items must be suppressed to protect the confidentiality of individual operations.

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Program Content

The Census of Horticultural Specialties covers bedding plants, herbaceous perennials, potted plants, cut flowers, foliage plants, deciduous trees, and other nursery plants. It also contains turfgrass, mushrooms, greenhouse food crops, seeds, and Christmas trees. Data on producing area, sales, marketing channels, irrigation practices, production expenses, and labor are also obtained.



As the only source of detailed production, sales and economic data, the census of horticultural specialties provides important statistics to government, academia, the nursery and floriculture industry, and others regarding the size and structure of the industry for planning, policymaking, research, and market analysis.



Historically, the Census of Horticultural Specialties has been conducted two years after every other 5-year census of agriculture, in other words every ten years.



The reference period is the calendar year preceding the survey period. Data are collected by mail, telephone, or personal enumeration. The mailing is done in two parts. Operations that overlap with the annual Floriculture survey are mailed in December of the reference year. The forms for the remaining operations are mailed in January. A second mailing is made to nonrespondents in February for the operations not classified as annual floriculture operations. A telephone follow up of operations not responding to the mailings is attempted to maximize response. In some special cases, personal visits are made. Sample weights of the reporting operations are adjusted to account for nonresponse.


Related Programs

Census of Agriculture
Nursery Production
Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use



Last Modified: 05/04/2018