First Horticulture Survey In A Decade

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The Iowa Commercial Horticulture Survey was released, it's the first study on Iowa's horticulture since 2000.

A collaboration of state, federal, and university programs spoke with 882 crop producers in 2015.

It found the majority of horticulture farmers are relatively new to farming, growing crops for 10 or fewer years. And the average farm size is eight acres, that's a drop from an average of 15 acres in the year 2000.

State Horticulturist Paul Ovrom says farmers are using less land to produce the same economic activity.

There's also many different crops. In 2000, sweet corn was the number one crop by the amount of farms that produced it, now it's number eight.

Ovrom says, "It's a very diverse sector, it's getting more diverse. Sales are increasing. The survey found over 48 million in direct sales were generated with the broader picture being over 80 million."

The survey says there are 502 jobs involved in the sales in horticulture.

You can read the full survey here: