2006 Economic Development Strategies - Ornamental Horticulture
Ornamental horticulture, including greenhouse, sod, nursery and floriculture operations, is New Jersey’s leading agricultural sector, representing almost 40 percent of the state’s agricultural production with more than $370 million in cash receipts. In 2004 New Jersey had 19 million square feet of greenhouse. New Jersey’s horticultural products offer esthetic value, providing shade and a cooling effect, re-charging the air with oxygen.
Since 2004 the television advertising of New Jersey horticultural products has greatly expanded through the Department of Agriculture’s marketing program. The year 2005 saw the development of the Jersey Grown quality-grading program along with an upgraded retail nursery and garden center listing on the Jersey Grown website.
To increase demand for New Jersey nursery stock, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is continuing to expand it’s marketing program to include more horticultural crops. In addition to cut flowers, the Department is currently seeking to expand the developing Jersey Grown quality inspection program to a wider range of ornamental horticultural products.
The Department will continue to inspect and certify nurseries, enabling growers to sell certified disease-free material in and out of state, and conduct seed certification and seed control testing programs to ensure high quality turf grass seed for New Jersey sod growers.
In 2006, the Department’s ornamental horticulture economic development strategies will be focusing on implementing the Jersey Grown brand program. The Jersey Grown website will continue to expand, and inspections for harmful pests and certifying seed will be continued.
2. ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE STRATEGIES
2.1 Ensure Plant Health
23) STRATEGY – Work to have a comprehensive approach to ensuring plant health. The following methods to be employed include:
- Continue inspections for harmful pests and disease.
- Seek ways to increase use of new methods of pest control and beneficial insects
- Inspect and certify nurseries, enabling growers to sell certified disease-free material in and out of state.
- Conduct seed certification and seed control testing programs to ensure high quality turf grass seed for New Jersey sod growers.
- Encourage the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station to continue its research in identifying new varieties of agricultural products resistant to pests, diseases and new plant introductions.
24) STRATEGY- Work toward establishing a drought emergency protocol for implementation of predictable, effective and sound restrictions for future emergencies.
Work with the Nursery and Landscape Industry, the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection, and the Department’s Agricultural Water Working Group prior to future drought emergencies, to develop drought emergency water use restrictions.
2.2 Increase Consumer Awareness
25) STRATEGY - Continue work to strengthen the Jersey Grown brand name to enable the industry to benefit from a common trademark identifying locally produced horticultural products.
- Work with growers and independent garden centers and nurseries to strengthen their efforts to promote Jersey Grown products with advertising such as point of sale materials.
- Continue to include horticultural crops in the department’s marketing program.
- Maintain the retail nurseries and garden center listings on the Jersey Grown website.
26) STRATEGY - Develop fact sheets and/or articles of interest to educate and inform consumers about the availability, variety and use of “Jersey Grown” horticultural products. Work with the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association and others to distribute fact sheets and horticultural articles of interest.
2.3 Improve State and Public Contract Requirements
27) STRATEGY- Continue to work with state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, through its highway planting program, and the Department of Environmental Protection, through its forestry program, to use New Jersey produced products whenever possible and ensure that all products meet the pest-free standards of the New Jersey Nursery Law and satisfy the quality standards set by the Jersey Grown Rule as established by the Department.
28) STRATEGY - Promote the use of Jersey produced plant material in bioengineering and cost share projects supported by the Soil Conservation Service.
2.4 Develop an Industry Recognition Program
29) STRATEGY – Continue to work with municipalities to recognize outstanding uses of Jersey Grown nursery material grown and used in the state. The newly introduced comprehensive award program that focuses on municipalities that promote both growers and end users of Jersey Grown nursery products will create increased awareness of the ornamental horticulture industry in the state.
2.5 Strengthen Communications with Industry Leaders
30) STRATEGY - Meet at least once annually with horticultural producers to discuss items of mutual interest, and meet at least once annually with floriculture leaders to address challenges in their industry.