Cut Florals as Specialty Crops in Iowa

Terry Finnerty, commercial horticulture field specialist
Margaret A. Smith, ISU Extension, sustainable agriculture/value-added agriculture


Traditional, production agriculture in Iowa is undergoing dramatic changes that have significant impacts on Iowa communities, including loss of income and economic diversity in rural areas. Cut floral products (flowers, floral greens, berries, and woody stems) have the potential to improve profit margins of traditional farm operations and create more opportunities for the development of small acreage enterprises by non-traditional growers. To encourage further development of this industry in Iowa, it was determined that more information was needed about local floral producers in central Iowa and markets for these products.

Iowa State University Extension requested and received funding from an Extension 21, Value-Added Grant, to support a market research survey titled, "Assessing Local Market Needs and Producers of Specialty Crops in Central Iowa." The primary objectives of the survey were to: determine what are the needs and interests of local users and buyers of cut floral products in central Iowa, determine who is currently producing cut floral products, and enhance the potential for cut floral production and marketing in Iowa by linking market demands to production activities.

Activities included:

As a result of the market research survey, the following impacts were made:

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