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About the UMass Extension Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture Program

The UMass Extension Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture Team supports the greenhouse industry with research and information on environmentally safe production practices and marketing. The greenhouse industry is one of the largest production agriculture moneymakers in Massachusetts's, valued at $78 million dollars. There are over 1000 commercial greenhouse and flower producing operations growing potted plants, perennials, bedding plants and cut flowers. The team's overall goal is to help Massachusetts greenhouse growers remain profitable within the environmental, social, and economic climate of the state.

The team's educational activities include newsletters (Floral Notes), two websites (New England Greenhouse Update and Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture), publications, workshops, conferences, training programs, diagnostic services and research. The team also works with Extension Specialists and grower representatives throughout the northeast to host The Northeast Greenhouse Conference, held every other year. The conference includes over 60 educational sessions and 200 exhibitors.

The Floriculture Staff consists of two Extension staff in the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment with University Faculty support and research in plant nutrition and pathology in Stockbridge School of Agriculture.

Feel free to contact members of the team to discuss specific issues. Contact information is provided at the top, right-hand corner of every page.

Massachusetts Flower Power: Floriculture Statistics in Massachusetts

According to the 2012 New England Agriculture Statistics Service report, greenhouse and nursery sales remained the top contributor to Massachusetts' total cash receipts, with sales estimated at $156,300 million.

A study (2009) of the impact of the Environmental Horticulture Industry on the New England economy is available at http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/nesurvey/index.htm

  • Wholesale floriculture and nursery production is 29.8 percent of cash receipts for agricultural crops.
  • Greenhouse and nursery production is ranked 2nd in New England in cash receipts for all agricultural commodities. Dairy is number one.
  • Massachusetts is ranked 19th in the nation for wholesale value of floriculture crops.
  • There are 10 Million square feet of greenhouse space devoted to floriculture in Massachusetts and this figure is growing all the time.
  • There are about 400 acres of field production in floriculture in Massachusetts.
  • Each household in the northeast spends an average of $44 annually.
  • Land and building in floriculture production in Massachusetts is valued at $320 Million.
  • The amount of payroll paid to hired labor in Floriculture in Massachusetts in 2001 was $45 Million.
  • There were 5,000 employees hired in wholesale Floriculture industry in Massachusetts.

Greenhouse Vegetables

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture there are 311 growers and 1,236,778 sq. ft. in greenhouse vegetables and fresh cut herb production in Massachusetts. Of those 311 growers, 88, each have under 3,000 sq. ft. in production, 92 have 3,000-10,000 sq. feet of procution. Thirty two growers have more than 10,000 sq. ft. in production.

Source: 2012 Census of Agriculture - Massachusetts

As growers extend markets through winter, greenhouses are playing an important role:
See article: Greenhouse help Western Mass. farmers sell crops even in winter

2014 Census of Horticultural Specialties Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2014 Census of Horticultural Specialties report, which shows that horticulture operations sold a total of $13.8 billion in floriculture, nursery and specialty crops in 2014, up 18 percent since 2009. The number of horticulture operations in the United States increased 8 percent during this time to 23,221.

This report contains the results of the tenth Census of Horticultural Specialties, which was first conducted in 1889. The horticulture census provides data on industries for which there are no other comprehensive data sources.

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 2012 Census of Agriculture were included in this special study.

Massachusetts Greenhouse Stats in this report

  • 275 Growers of annual bedding/garden plant (5,032,000 sq ft greenhouse)
  • 123 Growers of potted herbaceous perennial plant (1,082,000 sq ft greenhouse)
  • 82 Growers of food crops (939,000 sq ft greenhouse)

For more information and full report, see:

http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Census_of_Horticulture_Specialties/