nursery crops

Nursery/Floriculture #1 in 2007
Agricultural Crops Production

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Nursery/floriculture crops have been the fastest growing agricultural sector in North Carolina over the last decade. The wholesale value of these crops exceeded $889 million in 2007 – far surpassing tobacco as the number one crop commodity in the state of North Carolina ( North Carolina in now the fourth largest producer of nursery/floriculture crops in the United States behind California, Texas, and Florida. 

Nursery/floriculture crops have proven to be the "growth sector" for North Carolina agriculture in recent years and many farms that have traditionally produced field crops have and continue to diversify into nursery crops production. In addition to the high demand for these crops, production generally requires less land than traditional field crops and gross annual returns can exceed $60,000 - $100,000 per acre. The future growth potential is very strong. North Carolina includes diverse climates that are ideal for growing a tremendous range of nursery/floriculture crops that can be sold and grown in much of the country and throughout the world.

There is, however, strong competition in this industry. To be competitive, North Carolina producers need to be growing the most desirable crops available, produce high quality material, and do it efficiently. Research, Extension, and Teaching programs at NC State University provide the education, know-how, new crops, and innovations to give our industry a competitive edge in a world-wide marketplace.

Farm Income by Commodity - 2007

Rank Crop 2007 Receipts
(Millions $)
1 Nursery/Floriculture 890
2 Tobacco 586
3 Grains 429
4 Vegetables 267
5 Oil - Soybeans & Peanut 331
6 Cotton 252
7 Christmas Trees 125
8 Fruits and Nuts 60
9 Miscellaneous 8

Cash Receipts as a Percentage of Total Crop Sales - 2007

chart showing cash receipts as a percentage of total sales by commodity

2004 statistics for comparison

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Information updated March 16, 2009 by Tom Ranney
Posted March 20, 2009 by Anne S. Napier