Green Industry Packs Economic Wallop Says LSU AgCenter Horticulturist

Thomas J. Koske, Hinson, Roger A.  |  4/21/2005 9:35:08 PM

News You Can Use For January 2004

Louisiana's "green industry" continues to be one of the leading economic players among the state's agricultural commodities, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. It trails only forestry.

The green industry, not only in Louisiana, but nationally, enjoyed a significant growth trend from the early to the late 1990s. It contributed $2.2 billion in gross sales, approximately $1.15 billion in personal income and $1.69 billion in gross state product in 2001. It generated 56,680 jobs for Louisiana.

Koske cites figures from a recently completed LSU AgCenter study led by agricultural economics professor Dr. Roger Hinson.

Louisiana's farm-gate wholesale sales in the greenhouse and nursery product areas of the green industry were estimated to be around $120 million. Woody ornamentals (trees and shrubs) accounted for most of these sales.

Other segments were floricultural crops, annual bedding plants and herbaceous perennials, foliage plants, sod and fruit/nut trees. Greenhouse and nursery employment was estimated at 2,824.

Sales in the wholesale production area of the green industry in Louisiana have been steady, but not significantly increasing, over the last three years, according to the report. In addition to sales, total personal income from greenhouse and nursery product sales during 2001 was $55.8 million with $87.3 million generated in gross state product.

Landscape and horticultural services of Louisiana's green industry contributed $266.1 million to the economy in 2001 and employed 9,361. These included landscape contracting, landscape maintenance and landscape design services. Total personal income in these areas was $110.5 million, with $166 million in gross state product.

Household purchases of garden products more than doubled from 1995 to 2001, according to sales figures reported by survey results from the National Gardening Association. This translated into 14,905 jobs, $511.3 million in gross sales, $245.9 million in personal income and $410.1 million in gross state product.

Horticulture-related activities and expenditures in golf and other industries such as construction contributed $685.9 million in gross sales, $524.1 million in personal income and $656 million to the Louisiana economy. In addition, they generated 22,394 jobs. This increase was attributed to a rapid rate of growth in commercial and public construction and to the inclusion of activities like landscape maintenance and mowing by churches and other non-commercial entities.

Related yard and garden topics are available by contacting an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office. Also, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in the Feature section of the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com.

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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/

Source: Tom Koske (225) 578-2222, or tkoske@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Source: Roger Hinson (225) 578-2753, or rhinson@agcenter.lsu.edu

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