Congress recently agreed to produce a key report in 2020 that provides vital information on trends and sales opportunities to the floral industry. Society of American Florists members have long relied on the report and advocated for its publication on Capitol Hill during the organization’s annual Congressional Action Days.
Produced by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Floriculture Crops Summary shows trends in domestic production and helps compare domestically grown flowers and imported flowers. The report also is critical in determining the government’s policies on agriculture as well as providing data for academic studies.
“The floriculture industry considers the USDA Floriculture Crops Summary to be the benchmark to identify market trends and project sales opportunities,” said Joe Bischoff, SAF’s senior lobbyist. “Floriculture and nursery products are the sixth-largest farmgate value crop category in the U.S. — only major food crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat rank higher. Diverse floriculture and nursery crops contribute 15 percent of the value of U.S. crop agriculture. Data on such an important sector of the economy needs to be collected and published.”
The Floriculture Crops Summary is the only source of annual data on annual bedding and garden plants, potted herbaceous perennials, potted flowering plants for indoor and patio use, foliage plants for indoor or patio use, cut flowers, cut cultivated greens, and propagative floriculture materials.
The data presented in the report shows wholesale value, number of producers, hired workers, and growing area of growers having sales of $10,000 or more in 17 states with the most floricultural production.
Congress appropriated $500,000 in fiscal year 2019 for the publication of the report. “SAF advocated for the same amount in fiscal year 2020 so that the Floriculture Crops Summary will continue to be produced,” Bischoff explained.
In addition to SAF, the American Society for Horticultural Science, AmericanHort, the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers, the California Cut Flower Commission, the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, and the Produce Marketing Association also support the continued publication of the Floriculture Crops Summary.
Make plans now to attend SAF’s 40th annual Congressional Action Days, March 9-10.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.