Study Shows Green Industry Major Economic Contributor

Roger A. Hinson, Merrill, Thomas A., Owings, Allen D.  |  10/4/2004 4:24:20 AM

Distributed 11/07/03

Louisiana’s "green industry" continues to be one of the leading economic contributors among the state’s agricultural commodities, according to a study completed recently by the LSU AgCenter.

The study shows a direct economic contribution of $2.2 billion annually in Louisiana from the industry that includes such aspects as wholesale production and retail distribution of commercial nursery products, landscape and horticultural services, golf course maintenance and related expenditures – as well as the green industry’s contributions to other industries.

The conclusions are based on the most current figures available – for 2001 – and were the result of a study led by LSU AgCenter agricultural economics professor Dr. Roger Hinson.

"We found the total economic impact of the green industry in Louisiana in 2001 was over $2.2 billion in gross sales, approximately $1.15 billion in personal income and $1.69 billion in gross state product," Hinson reported, adding that the total employment impact was 56,680 jobs.

"The green industry, not only in Louisiana, but nationally, enjoyed a significant growth trend from the early to the late 1990s," he said. "Although some segments have slowed in growth over the past couple of years, the green industry remains a major contributor to Louisiana’s economy – trailing only forestry, in significance, among agricultural sectors."

Statistics compiled by the LSU AgCenter show economic contributions from all Louisiana agricultural industries of more than $7.5 billion in 2002 and nearly $7.8 billion in 2001. Forestry led in those contributions with a $3.8 billion total value in 2002 and a $3.3 billion value in 2001.

"Although many agricultural industries rely on the wholesale or ‘farm gate’ value of products to stimulate the economy, the green industry also provides significant economic contributions from the service and retail sectors," said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings, who also participated in the study.

Among the information revealed about the economic contributions were these points:

–The trade or retail level of the green industry posts economic impacts of 14,905 jobs, $511.3 million in gross sales, $245.9 million in personal income and $410.1 million in gross state product. These findings increased more than two-fold from 1995 sales figures, boosted by survey results from the National Gardening Association that show household purchases of garden products more than doubled from 1995 to 2001.

–The landscape and horticultural services area of Louisiana’s green industry contributed $266.1 million to the economy in 2001 and employed 9,361 people. This includes items such as landscape contracting, landscape maintenance and landscape design services. Total personal income in this area was $110.5 million – with $166 million in gross state product generated.

–Louisiana’s farm-gate wholesale sales in the greenhouse and nursery product area of the green industry were estimated to be around $120 million in 2001. While woody ornamentals (trees and shrubs) account for the majority of these sales, other segments included floricultural crops, annual bedding plants, herbaceous perennials, foliage plants, sod and fruit/nut trees. Sales in the wholesale production area of the green industry in Louisiana have been steady, but not significantly increasing, over the past three years.

– In addition to product sales from nurseries and greenhouses, total personal income due to those sales in Louisiana during 2001 was $55.8 million – with $87.3 million generated in gross state product. Greenhouse and nursery employment in Louisiana was estimated at 2,824.

–The combined "green industry" economic impact from horticulture-related activities and expenditures reported in other industries such as construction and from those related to golf were a significant portion of the results. The total contribution to the Louisiana economy of these segments was estimated at $685.9 million in gross sales, $524.1 million in personal income and $656 million in gross state product in 2001. In addition, 22,394 Louisiana jobs were attributed to these areas of economic activity.

"There has been rapid growth in commercial and public construction, and we’ve now come to realize the economic impact of activities like landscape maintenance and mowing by churches and other non-commercial entities," Owings said. "What it all means is that the state’s ‘green industry’ is a significant economic contributor."

For more details on the economic contributions of agricultural industries and a variety of other topics related to business, the economy, family life, landscaping, nutrition, health, home care, youth programs and much more, visit www.lsuagcenter.com.

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Contacts:
Roger Hinson at (225) 578-2753 or rhinson@agcenter.lsu.edu
Allen Owings at (225) 578-2222 or aowings@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:    
Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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