55% of Vegetable Operations Grow Indoors [2019 State of the Vegetable Industry]
More than half of vegetable operations grow in a greenhouse, high tunnel, or low tunnel, our 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry survey reveals. Most vegetable growers use protected agriculture as a tool rather than as a primary growing method. The top two reasons for growing under cover? To extend the growing season (71.5%) and to grow transplants for the operation (66.2%).
Nearly all those growing in high tunnels (90.5%) cite season extension as why they use protected agriculture. Greenhouse growers’ No. 1 reason for growing under cover is producing the farm’s own transplant starts – 78.6% do so. Only 63.1% of high tunnel growers use the structures for the same purpose.
Here are a few more the highlights:
- One to 5 acres is the second most popular size for protected agriculture operations, but it is second place by a mile: 76.6% (the percent of farms with less than an acre under cover) versus 17.6%.
- Tomatoes are the No. 1 vegetable crop grown in protected agriculture, with three-fourths of protected agriculture operations growing the crop.
- About half of all protected agriculture growers are producing leafy greens, peppers, and cucumbers.
- The number of indoor herb growers jumped to 44.8% in 2019 of all protected ag vegetable growers. It was 28.9% in 2018.
Thanks to these sponsors of American Vegetable Grower‘s 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry report. See more results from the 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry survey.