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EAST LANSING, MI. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently released the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties report, the only source of detailed production and sales data for floriculture, nursery, and specialty crops for the entire United States. The data show that horticulture operations in Michigan sold a total of $695.4 million in floriculture, nursery and specialty crops in 2019, up from the sales in 2014. In the U.S., the data show that horticulture operations sold a total of $13.8 billion in floriculture, nursery and specialty crops in 2019. The number of horticulture operations in Michigan increased 16% during this time to 1,092. The number of horticulture operations in the United States decreased 11% during this time to 20,655.

“The horticulture census is a vital tool that highlights the contribution horticulture growers bring to our local, state, and national economies,” said Great Lakes Region Director Marlo Johnson. “It shows changes and trends in the industry over the past five years and beyond.”

Horticulture production occurred primarily in 10 states, which accounted for 66% of all U.S. horticulture sales in 2019. California ($2.63 billion), Florida ($1.93 billion) and Oregon ($1.02 billion) led the nation in sales.

The top commodities in Michigan horticulture sales in 2019, and compared to 2014, were:

• Nursery stock, $86.9 million, down 7%

• Annual bedding/garden plants, $274.9 million, down 5%

• Sod, sprigs and plugs, $21.4 million, up 33%

• Potted flowering plants, $34.8 million, up 79%

• Food crops under protection, $15.8 million, up 690%

Other key findings for Michigan from the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties report include:

• Family- or individually-owned operations made up 573 of the total number of operations, accounting for 52% of the total, but corporately-owned operations accounted for 74% of sales ($511.7 million).

• Total industry expenses were up 12% since 2014, with hired labor being the largest cost, accounting for 34% of total expenses in 2019.

The Census of Horticultural Specialties is part of the larger Census of Agriculture program. It provides information on the number and types of establishments engaged in horticultural production, value of sales, varieties of products, production expenses and more. All operations that reported producing and selling $10,000 or more of horticultural crops on the 2017 Census of Agriculture were included in this special study.

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