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 National Agriculture Statistics Service (Aug. 30, 2019), these are the state’s top grossing products right now, also known as farm cash receipts.
Among the industries which exist on the Eastern Shore, Accomack and Northampton County, includes poultry, which topped the list at $935 million, greenhouses and nurseries were third at $306 million, soybeans in sixth with $225 million, corn at 8th with $175 million, hay, 10th at $118 million, cotton which came in 13th at $64 million, wheat, which was 15th at $43 million, tomatoes came in 18th at $22 million and potatoes, once the staple crop of the Eastern Shore, came in 19th with $19 million in farm cash receipts annually.
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.
The full list is below:
*All numbers rounded to the nearest thousand
1. Broilers (chickens)
2. Cattle and calves
3. Greenhouse/Nursery $306
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