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Nurseries & Greenhouses

Nursery and Greenhouse Highlights
This page will give you information about environmental requirements specifically relating to the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

Information from EPA
GreenScaping for Homeowners: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard - GreenScaping encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources.
WaterSense: Certification Programs for Irrigation Professionals - WaterSense began labeling certification programs for irrigation professionals that include water-efficient principles and practices.

Information from states
EZregs Exit EPA - University of Illinois Extension Web site that identifies environmental regulations that pertain to specific agricultural and horticultural operations and practices in Illinois.

Facts and Figures

Nurseries and greenhouses are classified in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code 111 (Crop Production). Nurseries and Greenhouse are grouped under NAICS Code 1114. NAICS categorizes farms by the commodities which make up the majority of the sales of the farm operation which is why these businesses are in a separate category on this Web site.  Nursery and greenhouse practices differ considerably from those of field crop production.  In 2012, 17639 establishments were listed under NAICS Code 1114.

Nurseries and greenhouses classify as horticultural operations. The 2007 Census of Agriculture counted 54,889 horticultural operations.  In addition to greenhouses and nurseries, this number includes floriculture operations.

The table below shows the total sales of horticultural operations in 2007.

Total Sales of Horticultural Operations in 2007

Compared to the average U.S. farm, the average horticulture operation has fewer acres, receives less government payments, and has higher sales. The average U.S. farm rounds out to 418 acres with average sales of $134,807, while greenhouse, nursery and floriculture operations average 72 acres per operation and $309,117 in sales. In terms of government payouts, greenhouse, nursery and floriculture operations receive $6,615 compared to $9,523 that the average farm receives.

U.S. USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2007 Census of Agriculture; Greenhouse, Nursery and Floriculture Operations. N.p., 22 Jan. 2010. Web. <http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online_Highlights/Fact_Sheets/Production/nursery.pdf>.

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Alternatives to Methyl Bromide

Case studies illustrate the fact that materials do exist which can manage pests where methyl bromide is now used. The alternative materials and methods discussed here are not intended to be complete replacements for methyl bromide, but tools which are effective on the pests that are currently controlled by this pesticide. The case studies described here were chosen because of their level of development and availability, and should not be construed to be the only alternatives to methyl bromide:

More information from EPA
Methyl Bromide
Time-Limited Registration of Iodomethane (Methyl Iodide)
Methyl Bromide Alternatives
Methyl Bromide Alternatives for Applicators, Commodity Owners, Shippers, and their Agents (PDF) (68 pp, 464KB, About PDF)

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Best Management Practices

Pollution prevention opportunities for greenhouses include:

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Managing Non-Point-Source Pollution in Coastal Waters

EPA specifies management measures to protect coastal waters from sources of non-point pollution.

Management Measures
"Management measures" are defined in section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 (CZARA) as economically achievable measures to control the addition of pollutants to our coastal waters, which reflect the greatest degree of pollutant reduction achievable through the application of the best available nonpoint pollution control practices, technologies, processes, siting criteria, operating methods, or other alternatives.

These management measures will be incorporated by States into their coastal nonpoint programs, which under CZARA are to provide for the implementation of management measures that are "in conformity" with this guidance. Under CZARA, States are subject to a number of requirements as they develop and implement their Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs in conformity with this guidance and will have some flexibility in doing so.

Management Practices
In addition to specifying management measures, EPA also lists and describes management practices for illustrative purposes only. While State programs are required to specify management measures in conformity with this guidance, States programs need not specify or require implementation of the particular management practices described by EPA.  However, as a practical matter, EPA anticipates that the management measures generally will be implemented by applying one or more management practices appropriate to the site, location, type of operation, and climate. The practices have been found by EPA to be representative of the types of practices that can be applied successfully to achieve the management measures. EPA has also used some of these practices, or appropriate combinations of these practices, as a basis for estimating the effectiveness, costs, and economic impacts of achieving the management measures.

More information from EPA 

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Nutrient Management

During all phases of the crop production process, nutrients (e.g., fertilizer, manure, biosolids) can be applied to horticulture crops.  Nutrients enhance crop growth by providing essential nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and  micro-nutrients.  Nutrients can be applied directly to the plant or soil surface, incorporated into the soil, or applied with irrigation water through chemigation.  Techniques used to apply fertilizer include the following:

Pollution prevention techniques that can be used to reduce pollution and impacts from nutrient application include the following:

Related publications from the Ag Center
Agricultural Sector Profiles - Sector Notebooks

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Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides

The Agricultural Worker Protection Standard 40 CFR parts 156 and 170 Interpretive Policy document addresses questions on these regulations that were posed to the Agency by the EPA Regional Offices, State Lead Pesticide Agencies, and the public. This document consists of the previously issued questions and answers on the Worker Protection Standard as well as new ones:

Related topics
Worker Protection Standard

Related publications from the Ag Center
Nurseries and greenhouses
Worker Protection Standard

More information from EPA
Worker Protection Standard

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