Dec 9, 2020
NASS Releases Latest Census of Horticultural Specialties

On Dec. 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties report — a compilation of detailed production and sales data for floriculture, nursery, and specialty crops for the entire United States.

According to the report, horticulture operations sold a total of $13.8 billion in floriculture, nursery and specialty crops in 2019, down fractionally from the sales in 2014. The number of horticulture operations in the United States decreased 11% during this time to 20,655.

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 U.S. horticulture sales in 2019, and compared to 2014, were:

  • Nursery stock, $4.55 billion, up 7%
  • Annual bedding/garden plants, $2.24 billion, down 13%
  • Sod, sprigs and plugs, $1.27 billion, up 12%
  • Potted flowering plants, $1.2 billion, up 11%
  • Potted herbaceous perennials, $923 million, down 2%
  • Propagative horticultural materials, bareroot, and unfinished plant materials, $720 million, up 4%
  • Food crops under protection, $703 million, down 12%

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

  • Family- or individually-owned operations made up the largest number of operations, accounting for 52%, but corporately-owned operations accounted for 75% of sales ($10.3 billion).
  • Total industry expenses were up 6% since 2014, with labor being the largest cost, accounting for 42% 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.

To access the full report, visit   


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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.