The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced that it plans to produce the 2018 Floriculture Crops Report — after a two-year hiatus.
This is very welcome news for growers and other horticulture industry professionals who for many years have relied heavily on the data that is produced for the report.
The Floriculture Crops Report has always been considered a benchmark for our industry. It is the most comprehensive resource of annual data on annual bedding and garden plants, potted herbaceous perennials, potted flowering plants, foliage plants, cut flowers, cut cultivated greens and propagative floriculture materials.
The USDA did not publish the report in 2016 and 2017, according to the agency, due to a lack of funds.
Over the years, the report has provided our industry with critical data to help make strategic business decisions. The report helps identify market trends and project future sales opportunities. It also shows trends in domestic production and helps show year-to-year direction.
The Floriculture Crops Report also is used to help determine government agricultural policy as well as provide data for academic studies.
The “rebirth” of the report can be attributed, in part, to the efforts of a coalition of industry organizations who banded together to lobby lawmakers to resume publication of the annual report.
The associations in that coalition include: AmericanHort, the Society of American Florists, the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Produce Marketing Association, CalFlowers, the California Cut Flower Commission and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.
It still remains to be seen whether or not this is a one-and-done deal. I know the coalition of associations will keep working the phones and their email and scheduling as many face-to face meetings with the policy makers in Washington to ensure future funding of the report.
You can do your part to help make sure the report is published in 2019 and beyond. Contact your representatives in Washington and let them know how important this report is to you and your company — and the entire industry!