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The United States of Agriculture

The United States of Agriculture
The United States of Agriculture

The Midwest has a long history of being the “food capital of the world” with its production of agricultural products, but the bounty shared with the world isn’t exclusive to the flyover states. Each state has a product they grow, produce, or manage that contributes to feeding and fueling the world. In fact, the US agricultural industry would be the 16th largest economy with its $1.053 trillion in gross domestic product supplied in 2017, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Here is a list that showcases each state’s top agricultural products. Find your state and see what you are known for!

  1. Alabama’s top row crop is cotton, but peaches are the leading fruit.2
  2. Although Alaska might seem like a strange place to grow potatoes, potatoes are one of the best plants to be grown in many different environmental conditions, including the harsh conditions of the coldest state.1
  3. Each year, Arizona grows enough cotton to make more than one pair of jeans for everyone in the United States.2
  4. Arkansas is the largest producer of rice in the United States and 96 percent of the 2,500 rice farms are family owned.2 Arkansas also ranks third for poultry and egg production, and fourth for cotton.1
  5. California produces more than 350 crops, making it the top agriculture state in the country based with the most agricultural receipts.2 Its varied climates have made the state the fruit and vegetable basket of the U.S. with more than a third of our vegetables and two-thirds of our fruits and nuts grown there.1
  6. Colorado is home to more than 32,000 bee colonies, which produces 1.5 million pounds of honey each year.2
  7. Connecticut has more than 70,000 acres of shellfish farms, which harvest 450,000 bushels of hard clams2 and 300,000 bushels of oysters each year.3 Also, more than 60 varieties of apples are grown in Connecticut.1
  8. Delaware’s number one crop is corn, producing 28,000 bushels each year.4
  9. Florida produces about 95% of orange products found in grocery stores and used in restaurants.2 The sandy soil and subtropical climate of Florida is perfect for growing oranges.1
  10. Georgia produces nearly half of the peanuts in the United States2 with more than 45 percent of the United States’ peanuts coming from the state.1
  11. Hawaii is ranked 6th in the U.S. for tree nuts. About 27% of the state’s total land is farmland,2 and Hawaii produces more macadamia nuts than any other state.1
  12. Not surprising, Idaho is ranked first for potato production.2 Although potatoes are grown in many states around the U.S., 90 percent of Americans associate potatoes with Idaho more than any other state.1
  13. Illinois produces enough corn annually to fill a train of box cars that stretches more than 7,600 miles.2 Illinois also grows more pumpkins than any other state.1
  14. Indiana leads in duck production2 when compared to other states, but it also ranks second in the nation for the production of tomatoes, which are used for canning and juicing ad other food products.1
  15. Iowa leads in hog (pig) and egg production.2 Iowa ranks first in the country in the production of grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas.1
  16. The plains of Kansas grow more wheat than any other state per year.1
  17. Kentucky produces over 262 million pounds of burley tobacco annually.2 Also, it should be no surprise the home of the world’s most famous horse race also leads with the number of horses, ponies, mules, burros and donkeys.1
  18. Louisiana is the only source of Tabasco pepper found in the country. The state’s fishing industry also produces 25% of all U.S. seafood,2 and the state also ranks second in the production of sugarcane for sugar.1
  19. Maine is the world’s leader in wild blueberries.2
  20. Maryland’s farmland makes up about 40% of the state.2 The state produces melons, beans, spinach, and a variety of fruit.1
  21. Captain Henry Hall, a Revolutionary War veteran in Dennis, Massachusetts, began the first cultivation of cranberries in 1816, after he observed that wild cranberries grew better with a covering of sand. More than two million barrels of cranberries were harvested in Massachusetts in 2017.1
  22. Michigan leads in tart cherry-production.2 The state also produces grapes, peaches, apples, and sugar beets.1
  23. Seventy percent of the potatoes grown in Minnesota are Russet potatoes, which are commonly used for everything from French fries and hash browns, to baking and mashing. What goes with potatoes on Thanksgiving? The state is also the top turkey producer in the country.1
  24. Mississippi produced over a million bushels of cotton in 20172 while also contributing to the peanut supply, producing over 176 million pounds last year.1
  25. Missouri ranks 3rd in the nation in number of beef cows.5
  26. Montana ranks 4th in honey production.2 Although not a top producer, Montana has also conducted extensive work on how to conserve the land while planting lentils. Lentils are a pulse crop, which means they are versatile, drought-tolerant, and frost-hardy. Farmers in Montana have reduced the amount of land left fallow by planting lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes.1
  27. Nebraska raises about 9 million laying hens, which produce over 3 billion eggs annually.2 The state also produces beans, sunflowers, and peas.1
  28. Nevada’s leading agricultural industry is range livestock,2 consisting of goats, sheep and cattle. Almost six million acres of land are farmed/ranched in Nevada.1
  29. New Hampshire produces an average of 130,000 gallons of maple syrup a year from 500,000 taps.2
  30. New Jersey produces more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes.2
  31. About 98% of New Mexico ranches are family owned, which have been handed down through multiple generations.2 New Mexico also produces a lot of peanuts and pecans.1
  32. New York ranks 2nd in apple production and 3rd in wine and juice grapes.2
  33. North Carolina is ranked first in the nation for flue-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes.2 The state has been the leading sweet potato producing state in the US since 1971. Nearly 400 growers supply more than 60 percent of the US supply.1
  34. North Dakota has about 1.7 million head of cattle.2 A wide variety of beans are also grown in North Dakota, including kidney, navy, pinto, red, black turtle, pink, and cranberry beans.1
  35. Ohio leads in Swiss cheese production in the United States.2
  36. Oklahoma ranks 2nd in beef cows with about 5 million cattle.5
  37. Oregon ranks first in the nation for cut Christmas trees.1 Oregon also ranks second in the nation for peppermint, sweet cherries, and hops production.2
  38. Pennsylvania produces about 65% of the mushrooms in the United States.2
  39. Rhode Island’s top agricultural commodities are greenhouse plants, dairy products, sweet corn, aquaculture, and apples.2
  40. South Carolina produces a lot of watermelons and cantaloupes.1 The northern and southern parts of the state split to have two growing seasons for each fruit to assist them in competition with other states.
  41. South Dakota averages about 3 million acres of wheat each year.2 South Dakota is a leader in United States oat production because of the state’s cool climate.1
  42. Tennessee ranks 3rd in tobacco production.2
  43. Texas is first in the nation in cattle, cotton, milk, broilers, and greenhouse/nursery products.2
  44. Utah is 2nd in tart cherries and 8th in sweet cherries. The state is also ranked 3rd in apricots.2
  45. Vermont produces about 36% of the United States output of maple syrup.2 In 2017, trees in Vermont produced more maple syrup than in any other state, accounting for nearly 2 million gallons, or 46 percent of the country’s production.1
  46. Virginia offers 15 different apple varieties, including the Ginger Gold cultivar, which was first bred and introduced in Virginia in the 1960s. The state also produces peaches, grapes, pumpkins, and potatoes.1
  47. Washington is the top apple producer in the United States;2 Washington’s climate, rich volcanic soil, abundant water, and long growing season results in the highest potato yield per acre.1
  48. West Virginia’s top crop is hay grown for the state’s livestock.2
  49. Wisconsin ranks first in dairy goats in the United States.2 In 2017, the state produced more than 5.6 million barrels of cranberries, over 60 percent of the country’s crop. Wisconsin also produces tart cherries, apples, pumpkins, carrots, snap beans, and green peas.1
  50. Wyoming’s livestock industry is the largest agricultural component in the state’s economy;2 Wyoming is also a leading producer of sheep and lambs.1

References

  1. Main Crops Grown in each State of the United States of America
  2. 50 Agriculture State Facts
  3. Shellfish Industry Profile and Economic Impact
  4. Delaware Agricultural Statistics Bulletin
  5. Ranking of states with the most beef cows

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