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For Immediate Release: January 6, 2011
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced that the state’s horticulture industry ranks eighth in the nation for gross sales of horticulture crops, with $347.6 million in sales in 2009.

“New Jersey’s horticulture industry is the largest sector of our state’s agriculture and features some of the most dynamic and innovative people in the nation,” said Secretary Fisher.  “Seeding, packing and other processes were developed by our growers and are used throughout the United States.”

Fisher attended the release of the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) release of the 2009 Census of Horticulture in Washington, D.C. in December.  It found that New Jersey has 623 horticulture operations growing nursery stock, annual bedding and garden plants, potted herbaceous perennial plants, sod, sprigs and plugs, cut flowers, potted flowering plants, propagative materials, transplants for commercial vegetable and strawberry production, cut Christmas trees, foliage plants and food crops under protection.

Since the 1998 Census of Horticulture, New Jersey’s sales of horticulture crops increased by 44 percent.

Categories where sales increased from the previous Census included nursery stock, such as shrubs and trees; potted herbaceous perennial plants, such as hostas, day lilies and chrysanthemums; cut flowers; annual bedding and garden plants; transplants for commercial vegetable production; and propagative materials. 

Nursery stock makes up 43 percent of the sales of all horticulture specialties in the state.  Horticulture, in total, accounts for 38 percent of sales in New Jersey’s $1 billion agriculture industry.

New Jersey ranked in sales behind California, Florida, Oregon, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, but ahead of 9th and 10th -ranked New York and Pennsylvania.

The Census sampling included operations that produced and sold $10,000 or more of horticulture specialty products during 2009.  The Census was conducted to measure the horticulture industry’s economic benefit to the nation and identify trends in the industry.  The next Census will be conducted in 10 years.