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Steve
05-17-2006, 12:32 PM
It's funny this article popped up because I had just talked to a business owner the other day who recently moved to this area and was amazed at the growth.

How interesting is it too that ornamentals plants have out sold tobacco?

Ornamentals top tobacco (http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060517/NEWS01/60516062) - The robust greenhouse and nursery industry has surpassed tobacco as the top crop in the Tar Heel state. In 2004, the industry generated $832 million in sales, compared to $620 million for tobacco. And that doesn’t count Christmas trees, which generated another $101 million.

In his nine years on the job, Cliff Ruth, an agent specializing in ornamentals for the Henderson County office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension, has seen ornamental and greenhouse-related businesses increase from 240 to more than 500 in Henderson County alone, and from about 1,000 employees to 3,000.

Nine years ago, gross receipts from ornamentals totaled about $50 million. Now it’s $110 million, plus another $40 million generated by landscaping business, placing Henderson second behind Mecklenburg statewide.

“A lot of folks know Henderson County as apple country, but that generated about $15 million last year,” Ruth said. “Last year our gross income from the green industry was 10 times our gross income from apples.”