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Hawaii floral sales drop for fifth year

Sales of Hawaii’s floriculture and nursery products declined for the fifth year in a row, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The annual review for 2012 found overall floriculture sales of $69.1 million dropped by one percent from 2011. Sales have dropped since a record high of $108.7 million in the pre-recession year of 2007.

The review said growers attributed high business costs, dry weather, pest issues, the economy and smog from volcanos as reasons for the decline in sales since 2007. Hawaiian cut flowers last year totaled $6.6 million in sales, slightly lower than in 2011, while cut and potted orchids were valued at $14.2 million in 2012, a 2 percent drop from 2011.

Lei flower sales reached $2.4 million last year, down 2 percent from 2011. Sales of potted flowering plants fell 10 percent between 2011 and 2012, reaching a low of $3 million last year.

However, sales of landscape plant material grew to $21.1 million, a 3 percent increase from 2011, and foliage sales grew slightly to $10.4 million last year.