Broiler chickens like these are
Virginia’s No. 1 farm commodity (Photo courtesy of Extension Service). North Carolina
In fact, farming creates jobs and produces food and fiber for much of the state and beyond.
agriculture exports totaled a record $2.35 billion in 2011. Virginia
There aren’t many vocations that can make that claim.
But what are our farmers growing or raising?
The National Agriculture Statistics Service recently released data from
2009 that ranks ’s top 20 farm commodities. Virginia
Broilers, which are chickens raised for meat, are the state’s No. 1 commodity, generating more than $550 million in cash receipts. Cattle and calves are second, with sales of $
287.5 million, and not far behind is the dairy industry with cash receipts of $ 264.4 million.
Following dairy is the nursery, greenhouse, sod and turfgrass business, with cash receipts of $
261.4 million. Ranking fifth are turkeys, with sales of more than $215 million, and soybeans are ranked sixth after generating $184 million in cash receipts.
Soybeans are followed by corn for grain, then the horse industry, tobacco and winter wheat to round out the Top 10.
Eggs ranked 11th, with cash receipts of $68.7 million, followed by fresh market tomatoes at $63.2 million. Hay was ranked 13th and aquaculture 14th. They were followed by hogs, cotton, apples, potatoes, grapes and peanuts.
We need farmers—big and small—and we need the food that they produce.