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Ohio horticulture sales reach $469 million in 2019

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 Ohio sold a total of $469.0 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 Ohio increased 10% during this time to 854. 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 Ohio State Statistician Cheryl Turner. “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 Ohio horticulture sales in 2019, and compared to 2014, were:

• Nursery stock, $97.0 million, down 33%

• Annual bedding/garden plants, $82.4 million, down 18%

• Sod, sprigs and plugs, $21.3 million, up 134%

• Potted herbaceous perennials, $58.1 million, up 54%

• Food crops under protection, $40.2 million, up 793%

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

• Family- or individually-owned operations made up 476 of the total number of operations, accounting for 56% of the total, but corporately-owned operations accounted for 84% of sales ($395.8 million).

• Total industry expenses were up 18% since 2014, with hired labor being the largest cost, accounting for 36% 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.