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The price of your greenhouse goods

A picture of some vegetables representing the cost of product for commercial growers

Ask any commercial farmer, and they will know the price of their products. It is a major industry and one that demands real-time price information. Many horticulture products are commodities traded on various exchanges worldwide, and are an indicator of where our economy stands.

And you can have this information whenever you want.
 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has numerous resources that look into the prices of literally hundreds of products, including fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and herbs. They give prices for various regions (and have prices for both organic and non-organic products).
 

Here is an example of a common New England product – pumpkins – and how to track its price history:
 

Date                No. Stores      Weighted Avg. Price            Low Price        High Price

09/07/2012           423                         2.00                                1.66                   7.99

09/14/2012           343                         4.02                                1.66                   5.99

09/21/2012           1,031                      4.32                                0.50                   6.99

09/28/2012           758                         5.45                                3.99                   6.00

10/05/2012           1,012                      5.23                                0.49                   7.99

10/12/2012           1,014                      5.19                                3.98                   6.00

10/19/2012           1,183                      5.15                                3.97                   6.99
 

The following report looked at the retail price of pumpkins in the Northeast United States. Amongst the stores they surveyed, this chart shows the average price, the lowest found price, and the highest found price for the average pumpkin.
 

As you can see, the prices went up dramatically from the first week of September to the third week of October. As we, all know, with Halloween approaching, the pumpkins become more popular for decoration and jack-o-lanterns. Therefore, this price would reflect the demand increase. You would expect similar increases in February for roses (Valentine’s Day) and December for Christmas trees.
 

This is a great site for those interested in gauging how much their horticultural products are generally worth (or those just curious). The site is www.marketnews.usda.gov/portal/fv.