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Q: Horticulture/ Commercial Grower Market ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Horticulture/ Commercial Grower Market
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: blucken-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 20 Jun 2006 20:47 PDT
Expires: 20 Jul 2006 20:47 PDT
Question ID: 739861
looking for info on the commercial grower/ horticulture market
how many greenhouses are there commercially in the US
what is the average size (sq ft) of a commercial greenhouse
what are the trends in this market
what is the growth of this industry
how is the typical greenhouse lit (% artificially vs % naturally)
what type of artificial light system is used?
names of large "growers" - is this a local or national industry?
Subject: Re: Horticulture/ Commercial Grower Market
Answered By: czh-ga on 17 Jul 2006 21:28 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello blucken-ga,

I was able to find lots of information for most of the questions you
asked. The US government is the best resource for much of the
information. I cited some statistics by copying them here but I also
provided lots of links to help you continue your explorations.

The greenhouse and horticulture industry is composed of a few big
companies and lots of local niche players. They are getting
competition from overseas growers.

I trust that the resources I?ve found will meet your needs. Please
don?t hesitate to ask for clarification if any of this needs further

All the best.

~ czh ~

Table 38.
Nursery, Greenhouse, Floriculture, Mushrooms, Sod, and Vegetable Seeds
Grown for Sale:
2002 and 1997

Crops 2002	          Under Glass or Other Protection
                                Farms    Square Feet
Floriculture crops 
- bedding/garden plants, 
cut flowers and cut florist 
greens, foliage plants, and 
potted flowering plants	
Total                           21,728	973,658,415
 -- Bedding/garden plants	16,849	386,963,439
 -- Cut flowers/florist greens	 1,754	230,313,795
 -- Foliage plants 	         3,237	183,251,147
 -- Potted flowering plants	 6,806	173,130,034
 -- Aquatic plants	           621	  3,546,388
 -- Bulbs, corms, rhizomes, 
    and tubers-dry	           576	  4,043,848
 -- Flower seeds	           340	  1,187,990
 -- Greenhouse vegetables	 3,416	 64,364,430
2002 farms by area:		
 -- 1 to 999 square feet	819	  311,512
 -- 1,000 to 1,999 square feet	539	  728,244
 -- 2,000 to 2,999 square feet	326	  774,198
 -- 3,000 to 3,999 square feet	365	1,209,203
 -- 4,000 to 5,999 square feet	381	1,773,920
 -- 6,000 to 9,999 square feet	296	2,220,320
 -- 10,000 to 19,999 sq feet	250	3,252,488
 -- 20,000 or more square feet	440    54,094,545
 ---- 20,000 to 39,999	        197	5,107,937
 ---- 40,000 or more sq feet	243    48,986,608

2005 ? 2006 Statistical Highlights
Cash Receipts:  U.S. Farm Cash Receipts, 2000-04    

Crops	              2000         2001        2002         2003        2004
All Other Crops 18,690,931   19,223,412	 20,169,498   20,665,086  20,963,737  
 - Greenhouse/
   nursery      13,796,262   14,395,544  15,180,547   15,491,598  15,697,175  
 - Floriculture  4,576,498    4,802,555   5,089,514    5,082,170   5,179,696
 - Nursery       3,159,175           1/          1/    3,766,739          1/
 - Other 
   Greenhouse    5,558,677    9,080,085   9,573,729    6,136,279  10,011,458  

Charts and Maps ? Floriculture

USDA Economics and Statistics System
Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University
Floriculture and Nursery Crops Yearbook 2006 (Spreadsheet Files)


Data include statistics on floriculture and nursery crop sales, number
of growers, imports, exports, and consumption. For floriculture crops,
tables include quantity sold, value of sales, wholesale prices,
consumption per U.S. household, and import share of consumption.
Grower cash receipts for floriculture and nursery crops, cut flowers,
potted flowering plants, foliage plants, bedding plants, and cut
cultivated greens are also covered by State.

Data-set updated June 2006. 

Of related interest is Floriculture and Nursery Crops outlook and
yearbook reports.

Greenhouse and Nursery Crops
a-1.xls Greenhouse and nursery crops: Grower sales receipts, by crop
group, 1966 to date
a-2.xls Greenhouse and nursery crops: Supply and use, by crop group, 1976 to date
a-3.xls Greenhouse and nursery crops: Growers cash receipts, by State 1996 to date
a-4.xls Greenhouse and nursery crops: State shares of total U.S. cash
receipts, 1996 to date
a-5.xls Greenhouse and nursery crops: Grower sales receipts, by crop
group, region, by State, 1996 to date
a-6.xls Nursery and other greenhouse crops: Grower sales receipts, by
State, 1996 to date

Floriculture Crops
b-1.xls Floriculture crops: Value of sales at wholesale, large
operations, by crop group, 1985 to date
b-2.xls Floriculture crops: Supply and use, large operations, 1990 to date
b-3.xls Floriculture crops: Quantity sold and unit prices at
wholesale, by crop group, 1985 to date
b-4.xls Floriculture crops: Growers, sales, and average sales per
grower at wholesale, by size of operation, 1987 to date
b-5.xls Floriculture crops: Expanded wholesale value of sales, all
operations, by State, 1996 to date
b-6.xls Floriculture crops: Wholesale value of sales, large
operations, by State, 1996 to date
b-7.xls Floriculture crops: Number of large growers, by crop group, 1992 to date
b-8.xls Floriculture crops: Average sales per large grower, by crop
group, 1992 to date
b-9.xls Floriculture crops: Number of growers, by gross value of
sales, 1992 to date
b-10.xls Floriculture crops: Number of operations with hired workers,
by gross value of sales, 1992 to date
b-11.xls Floriculture crops: Average number of hired workers per
operation, by gross value of sales, 1992 to date
b-12.xls Floriculture crops: Estimated number of hired workers, by
gross value of sales, 1992 to date
b-13.xls Floriculture crops: Production area, by type of cover and
size of operation, 1987 to date
b-14.xls Floriculture crops: Average production area, number of hired
workers, and sales per grower, 1987 to date
b-15.xls Floriculture crops: Total production area, large operations,
by State, 1996 to date
b-16.xls Floriculture crops: Greenhouse production area, large
growers, by State, 1992 to date
b-17.xls Floriculture crops: Average sales per acre of total
production area large operations, by State, 1996 to date
b-18.xls Floriculture crops: Production area by type of cover, by
State, 1996 to date
b-19.xls Floriculture crops: Average sales per large operations, by
State, 1996 to date
b-20.xls Floriculture crops: Number of large growers, by State, 1996 to date

Floriculture Crops: Background

Floriculture is the cultivation of ornamental and flowering plants.
The U.S. floral industry engages in the production and sale of
floriculture crops on a commercial scale. Nursery crops are woody
perennial plants, such as ornamental trees, shrubs, and vines, that
are primarily used for landscaping. Together, floriculture and nursery
crops are known as the green industry.

Table: Production trends of floriculture crops ? Grower Sales (billions of dollars)

Table: Floriculture crops: Number of growers and production area

Greenhouse and nursery crops: Value of sales at wholesale, by crop group

Floriculture crops: Number of large growers and growing area, by type of cover 

Floriculture Crops: Market Outlook

The production of floral and nursery crops in the United States is
increasingly a capital-intensive industry. Two major industry trends
are behind the shift. First, the growth of mass-market sales in big
discount stores and supermarkets is encouraging crop specialization
and price competition among growers. Fewer crop varieties are grown in
larger quantities. Thus, more automated and year-round production in
greenhouses is required. High-priced land closer to urban areas
dictates space-intensive production. U.S. growers also outsource or
import some production components, such as unrooted seedlings or plant
cuttings from foreign producers in Central America and Mexico.

The second trend underlying increased automation in floral crop
production is the rising cost and scarcity of workers. As mass
marketers contract with growers for specified volumes and delivery
schedules, the need for a reliable workforce becomes more critical.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that over half of seasonal
nursery workers do not have legal immigration documents. To grow large
quantities of fewer crops, contract growers are induced to employ
highly automated operations that minimize the impact of labor supply

Volume production and mass marketing have driven floral prices low
enough that U.S. consumers are buying more flowers. While U.S. sales
of floral crops are still lower per capita than in Western Europe or
Japan, per household spending on cut flowers, flowering plants, and
bedding plants is gradually increasing in the United States.

The University of Tennessee  Institute of Agriculture  Knoxville Tennessee
Horticultural Business Information Network

Publication Areas Related to Commercial Horticulture
 	Commercial Horticulture, General
 	Fire Ants
 	Weed and Insect Management

North American Greenhouse Tomatoes Emerge as a Major Market Force

The rapidly growing greenhouse tomato industry has become an important
part of the North American fresh tomato industry. Greenhouse tomatoes
now represent an estimated 17 percent of U.S. fresh tomato supply.
Even though greenhouse tomatoes still constitute a minority share of
the U.S. fresh tomato market, their influence is concentrated and
growing in retail channels, which represent about half of U.S. tomato
consumption. Around 37 percent of all fresh tomatoes sold in U.S.
retail stores are now greenhouse, compared with negligible amounts in
the early 1990s.

Greenhouse Tomatoes Change the Dynamics of the North American Fresh Tomato Industry

Economic Research Report No. (ERR2) 86 pp, April 2005 
The North American greenhouse tomato industry has grown rapidly since
the early 1990s and now plays a major role in the fresh tomato
industry. However, relatively little is known about this new industry,
in part because of the lack of reliable production, trade, and price
data. Both analysts and industry members will benefit from a more
comprehensive understanding of the rising greenhouse industry and its
effect on the entire fresh field tomato sector.


Greenhouse heating is one of the popular applications of low-to
moderated-temperature geothermal resources. Using geothermal energy is
both an economical and efficient way to heat greenhouses. Greenhouse
heating systems can be designed to utilize low-temperature (>50C or
122F) resources, which makes the greenhouse an attractive
application. These resources are widespread throughout the western
states providing a significant potential for expansion of the
geothermal greenhouse industry.

This article summarizes the development of geothermal heated
greenhouses, which mainly began about the mid-1970's. Based on a
survey (Lienau, 1988) conducted in 1988 and updated in 1997, there are
37 operators of commercial greenhouses. Table 1 is a listing of known
commercial geothermal greenhouses, we estimate that there may be an
additional 25% on which data is not available.

Organic Greenhouse Vegetable Production
Horticulture Systems Guide

Small growers must find niche markets. It is pointless to try to
compete with mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart, because the small
grower will always lose. What are some niche markets for organic
greenhouse vegetable producers? Some of the general niches have
already been mentioned: consumers are looking for organic, locally
grown, early-season produce. Whatever the niche market, it is
important for growers to realize that the nature of niche markets is
for them to disappear after a while. Oversupply or lowered demand will
create lower prices. The market will change to favor one product and
disfavor another. This may happen when mass merchandisers enter the
market, when the popular press promotes a particular vegetable, or
when new medical evidence points to increased or decreased health
benefits from certain vegetables.

Economic Impacts of the  Green Industry in the United States
(You can download the entire report or just selected chapters
according to your needs.)

The U.S. environmental horticulture industry, also known as the ?Green
Industry?, is comprised of wholesale nursery and sod growers;
landscape architects, designers/builders, contractors and maintenance
firms; retail garden centers, home centers and mass merchandisers with
lawn and garden departments; and marketing intermediaries such as
brokers and horticultural distribution centers (re-wholesalers).
Environmental horticulture is one of the fastest growing segments of
the nation?s agricultural economy. In spite of the magnitude and
recent growth and interest in the Green Industry, there is
surprisingly little information that has been developed on the
national level regarding its? economic impact. Thus, the objective of
this study is to estimate the economic impacts of the Green Industry
at the national level. In addition, this study seeks to evaluate the
value and role of forest tree species (woody ornamental trees).
Economic impacts for the U.S. Green Industry in 2002 were estimated at
$147.8 billion (Bn) in output, 1,964,339 jobs, $95.1 Bn in value
added, $64.3 Bn in labor income, and $6.9 Bn in indirect business
taxes, with these values expressed in 2004 dollars.

The world cut flower industry: Trends and prospects

The world cut flower industry is a highly dynamic industry. Product
varieties, the origin of production, production techniques, markets
and retailing arrangements are all undergoing continuous change,
challenging the adaptive capacity of the actors involved. In a slowly
but steadily growing world market new developing country exporters are
gaining market share at the expense of existing producers. These
producers try to stay ahead by raising productivity and through
diversification and innovation.

Despite considerable barriers to entry -- the need for capital,
know-how and infrastructure, to name but a few -- the industry is
continuously attracting new entrants. Kenya, Ecuador and Zimbabwe, the
rapidly growing exporters of the last decade, are already
"established" suppliers to their ambitious new competitors in China,
India, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Malawi, Mexico, Palestine,
Peru, South Africa and Zambia, and a host of other countries.

The paper is organized as follows. Section 1 provides an overview of
the industry: where are the main markets; which are the main exporting
and importing countries; which are the main traded products? Section 2
discusses the characteristics of the industry: growing; post-harvest
handling; the importance of strict quality control; price trends; the
role of governments. Section 3 discusses some recent developments: the
changing role of the Netherlands; the attention given to higher
ecological and labour standards; the rising influence of supermarkets
on the growing and trading of cut flowers. The last section draws
conclusions and makes some observations on the future of the industry.

Enhancing Profitability in Greenhouse Firms
Book Number: NRAES-164 
Cost: $18.00
Length: 56 pages
Date of Publication: June 2005
Teaches firms how to gain a competitive edge by considering industry
trends; improving marketing; retaining quality employees; defining the
right product mix; streamlining handling/distribution; making smart
equipment purchases; and using budgeting, pricing, and financial
analysis. For managers, their business advisors, and educators.

After many years of phenomenal growth, the greenhouse industry is
settling into maturity. In a mature market, competition intensifies as
businesses strive to gain a foothold over their many competitors. With
every decision, greenhouse managers must consider the impact on the
bottom line.

Enhancing Profitability in Greenhouse Firms begins with a discussion
of five driving forces that will affect the future of the greenhouse
industry: environmental issues, regulations, communications
technology, customer sophistication, and partnership marketing.
Subsequent chapters focus on different aspects of a greenhouse
business and how each affects profitability.

Title: Starting a Commercial Greenhouse Business 
Author: John Hughes - Greenhouse Crop Advisor/OMAF 
Creation Date:	October 1998
Last Reviewed:	28 July 2003

Mexican Competition: Now from the Greenhouse

Greenhouse Lighting
Controlling Light in Greenhouses
(This site provides an extensive discussion of lighting greenhouses,
the types of lamps to use and other lighting issues.)
Some thoughts on lighting for greenhouse crop production.

(This site provides a 10-page discussion of all the issues involved in
lighting greenhouses.)


(The search results provide lots of links to greenhouse lighting
manufacturers and vendors.)

Greenhouse Management Links

This site is a collection of web sites gathered by students in
Greenhouse management. They include direct links to the sites plus a
short summary and review of of site content. The Georgeson Botanical
Garden staff do not endorse any products of processes mentioned on any
of these sites.

Horticultural Business Information Network

Greenhouse Firms

(This is a great place to start for further exploration. This
site offers lots of financial information about the greenhouse
industry along with resources for Establishing a Greenhouse Business,
Determining Costs of Production, Risk Management for Specialty Crops,
Software for Greenhouse Growers and E-commerce applications in the
green industry.)

Understanding the Produce Industry
Situation and Outlook Information
Fruit and Vegetable Crop Budgets
Containers and Packaging
Prices, on-line magazines and news sources
Credit Reporting Services
Risk Management for Specialty Crops 
Commodity Specific Reports
The Organic Market
Greenhouse Vegetables
Fruit-specific Reports
International Trade Related
References on Produce Marketing

Use of Enterprise Budgets in the Greenhouse Industry

When greenhouse operations fail, it is usually due to business
mistakes, not a lack of technical skill. Greenhouse bench space is a
valuable resource and only those crops that pay their way should
occupy this space. Therefore, it is vital that a manager know which
crops are profitable and which are not. An enterprise budget for
individual greenhouse crops will determine each crop?s contribution to
profit. This fact sheet describes the preparation and use of this
financial tool.

(This is an excellent 14-page document prepared by the University
of Maryland Cooperative Extension that provides excellent guidance on
cost issues in greenhouse management.)

Greenhouse Management Guidesheets 
Purdue University Floriculture Extension

(This is an outstanding collection of links covering all topics
related to starting and operating a greenhouse business. See
especially the sections on Greenhouse Management ? General and
Greenhouse - Starting a GH Business. NOTE: Many other agricultural
colleges/universities offer similar services. See the directories and
portals below to identify additional resources.)

"Putting greenhouse Growers, Suppliers, Buyers and Researchers online"
 -- Tradeshow Floor 
 -- Directory/Profile Listings
 -- Greenhouse Classifieds

(All of the main topic areas lead you to a large selection of resources.)

The Growing Edge magazine is the only resource of its kind on the
planet. We focus on hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, greenhouses,
and other innovative growing techniques. Since 1989, The Growing Edge
has provided the most comprehensive, accurate information available to
growers of all levels?from commercial growers and home hobbyists to
educators and researchers.

Horticulture Library

Starting a Greenhouse Business?A Commercial Growers Guide

Greenhouse Product News

The Green Beam is your online channel of information and resources for
the horticulture and garden/gift industry. The Green Beam programming
offers daily news, sources for products and supplies and special
presentations examining industry trends.

Commercial Nursery/Floral and Landscape:

Q: cost of growing in greenhouses

=============== commercial greenhouse  census
commercial greenhouse  industry  OR market
commercial greenhouse  industry  trends
commercial greenhouse growers
leading OR top commercial greenhouse companies OR growers
blucken-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00

Subject: Re: Horticulture/ Commercial Grower Market
From: czh-ga on 10 Aug 2006 00:59 PDT
Hello  blucken-ga,

I'm glad the information was useful. Thank you for the five stars and nice tip.

~ czh ~

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