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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 (http://www.agr.state.nc.us/stats/2008AgStat/Page016_035.pdf). 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.
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2004 statistics for comparison
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Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759
Phone: 828-684-3562 ~ Fax: 828-684-8715
Maintained by: Bryan A. Konsler
Information updated March 16, 2009
by Tom Ranney
Posted March 20, 2009 by Anne S. Napier