|Florida Agricultural Facts
Florida Agriculture Overview
More than 40,000 Florida commercial farmers are among the most productive in the world, furnishing the nation with a dependable and safe supply of food, and providing Florida with a stable economic base.
In 1998, Florida farmers utilized a little more than 10 million of the states 35 million acres to produce more than 35 billion pounds of food, and more than 1.5 million tons of livestock feed. Florida farmers employed an average of 57,000 farm workers monthly in 1998, and paid them more than $1 billion. They accounted for a $20 billion direct impact on the states economy; and added a direct and indirect impact of $55 billion. Total farm production expenses were $4.8 billion. Florida farmers ranked 5th national in net farm income of $2.2 billion.
Florida has maintained its position as the nations No. 9 ranked agriculture state with record sales of $6.686 billion in 1998. Florida is the nations No. 1 citrus producing state, ranks No. 2 in the production of vegetables and horticulture products, and No. 4 in all crops.
State farmers led the nation in the production of 20 major agriculture commodities in 1998, including oranges, sugarcane, fresh tomatoes, grapefruit, bell peppers, sweet corn, cut ferns, fresh cucumbers, fresh snap beans, tangerines, tropical fish, temple oranges, fresh squash, radishes, gladioli, tangelo, eggplant, escarole/endive, watermelons and house plants and foliage.
Florida accounted for more than 50 percent of the cash receipts for 11 major commercial crops: 100 percent of the tangelos and temple orange, 95 percent of the tropical fish, 78 percent of the ferns, 76 percent of the tangerines; 70 percent of the eggplant, 68 percent of the oranges, 64 percent of the grapefruit and escarole; 53 percent of the sugarcane and 52 percent of the bell peppers in 1998.
Florida produced more than 20 percent of the nations fresh vegetables with sales of $1.7 billion. Citrus sales topped $1.6 billion in 1998. Florida produced more than 1.6 billion gallons of citrus juice. During the 1997-98 growing season, state farmers grew 77 percent of the nations grapefruit and 76 percent of the oranges.
Florida livestock sales amounted to $1.3 billion in 1998, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the states farm sales. Florida is the leading milk-producing state in the Southeast, ranks 13th nationally in cash receipts and 15th nationally in production with more than 270 million gallons with sales of more than $423 million in 1998. Florida ranks 13th nationally in egg production and 16th nationally in broiler production with a combined sales of more than $365 million in 1998.
The states horse industry is known around the world for its breeding and training of Thoroughbreds and has produced 40 North American Champions, 61 equine millionaires, 17 Breeders Cups champions and 17 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes winners.
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