Industry Facts and Figures
Nursery crop production in the U.S has been well-established for over 100 years. Container production of greenhouse and nursery crops began in the 1950's and since then the acreage has continued to increase. Today, ornamental crop production is among the fastest growing sectors of agriculture. Along with the rapid growth of the nursery industry, production methods in some states are in transition from field production to container culture, with container production currently representing about 60% of the industry. Overall cash receipts for the nursery and greenhouse industries were over $13.8 billion in 2002, and sales of woody nursery crops alone increased from $1.1 to $3.97 billion from 1988 to 2003.
This reflects a significant growth in the southeastern nursery industry. This industry is highly diverse in terms of production practices and the species of plants grown, with over 390 genera and more than 2000 species of ornamentals produced in the U.S. It is estimated that total production acreage in the SE United States is greater than 156,300 acres.