RICHMOND, Va. — Agriculture is Virginia’s largest private industry – by far. As a whole, it contributes $70 billion to the state’s economy every year. According to the latest data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (Aug. 30, 2019), these are the state’s top grossing products right now, also known as farm cash receipts:
*All numbers rounded to the nearest thousand
1. Broilers (chickens)
2. Cattle and calves
3. Miscellaneous crops
4. Dairy products/Milk
7. All other animals and products ¹ $215
8. Corn (for grain)
11. Eggs (chickens)
13. Cotton lint
¹All Other Animals includes horses, aquaculture and other misc. animals
This is the first year that pumpkins entered the Top 20 list. The 2018 crop brought in $10,343,000 in cash receipts from 3,500 harvest acres of commercial pumpkins. This does not include those grown for pick-your-own patches. It is also the first year for Floriculture, or flower farming, which debuted at #9. Flower agritourism is also growing in Virginia, with cut-your-own farms, sunflower mazes and educational events such as floral arranging or flower teas.
Crops and animals that just missed the list include trout, honey, barley and mink pelts.
–Elaine Lidholm, Va. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services