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February 6, 2019

State focus: Virginia’s top crops and livestock

Explore Virginia’s top crops and livestock commodities that round out the state’s agriculture industry.

Agriculture is the largest industry in the state of Virginia, and there are a variety of crops and livestock commodities that make it up. According to statistics from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), no other industry in the state comes close to the $52 billion annual impact of Virginia’s top crops and livestock commodities. Read below to find Virginia’s top crops and livestock commodities that fuel the state’s most important industry.

Agriculture Statistics for Virginia

Facts and figures on agriculture provided by VDACS show Virginia’s ag industry totaling $70 billion when agriculture and forestry are combined. Agriculture alone supports over 300,000 direct jobs in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and over 400,000 when forestry is included. “Every job in agriculture and forestry supports 1.6 jobs elsewhere in Virginia’s economy,” states VDACS.

Virginia’s Top Crops

Virginia offers a subtropical climate that features mild winters and hot, humid summers, making it a prime spot for agriculture. As reported by VDACS, the 2014 figures from the USDA show that “Greenhouse and Nursery crops, Soybeans, Corn/Grain, Hay, and Tobacco” are part of the top ten crops in the state. Other important crops include wheat, cotton, apples, tomatoes for fresh use, potatoes, grapes, cottonseed, and peanuts.

Top Livestock Commodities in Virginia

Virginia raises a substantial array of livestock. In fact, the top three ag commodities in the state, in order, are Broiler Chickens, Cattle/Calves, and Dairy, according to VDACS statistics from 2014 on the state’s top 20 ag commodities. The additional livestock commodities included in the state’s list of top 20 are turkeys, hogs, and a category labeled as “all other animals.”

Forestry in Virginia

Forestry plays an important role in Virginia’s agriculture industry. According to a 2013 study commissioned by the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, forestry contributed over $17 billion in total industry output and supported over 100,000 jobs. The state’s forests are mainly hardwood stands, though the study maintains that softwoods are more commonly harvested in the southeast and coastal regions of the state.

With the national timber industry still recovering from the decline in domestic demand from the fallout in the housing market in 2008, the growth of Virginia’s timber stands outpaces harvests. While the industry is not back to where it was pre-recession, it is poised to meet increased demands for timber in the future.

As agricultural lenders, AgAmerica supports those who grow and produce crops in Virginia. We help farmers and ranchers prosper with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit.

To learn more about Virginia land loans or about how to get a loan for agricultural land, contact your ag financing team at AgAmerica Lending.

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