Productivity and Profitability of Some Field-grown Specialty Cut Flowers

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071

The productivity and profitability of annual and perennial field-grown specialty cut-flower species were evaluated for the southeastern United States. Data were collected on 20 annuals and 20 perennials in 1992 and on 19 annuals and 19 perennials (10 in their second year of production) in 1993. Productivity and profitability were based on yield and stem length measurements. Yield was expressed as total number of stems harvested. Income per 30-cm center was predicted from the number of stems ≥41 cm long that were harvested. Some species had high yields but stem lengths were too short for most market outlets. Among those species that combined high yield with long stems and resulted in high profitability without major pest or postharvest problems were the perennials Achillea filipendulina Lam., Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, Liatris spicata (L.) Willd., and Platycodon grandiflorus Jacq. A. DC. and the annuals Antirrhinum majus L., Cosmos bipinnatus Cav., Scabiosa atropurpurea L., and Zinnia elegans Jacq. Low overhead of field production coupled with productive species could prove to be profitable.

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