Monday, December 27, 2010

Sign of the times

Number of Christmas Tree Farms Declining in United States

Saint Louis--The number of Christmas tree farms is declining across the United States, with farmers describing the year-round business as labor-intensive. Increased costs for chemicals make it tough to earn a profit.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” said Jim Bowen, who has operated Bowen’s Christmas Tree Farm near Pittsburg, Mo., for nearly three decades.

The National Christmas Tree Association cites USDA data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture that shows the number of live Christmas tree farms nationally declined by more than 7 percent from 2002 to 2007, the most recent year for the census.

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