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The Mountain State Still Standing Strong

Posted by Charmaine Wilson, West Virginia State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Research and Science
Jul 18, 2019
Bales of hay in West Virginia
Bales of hay in West Virginia. According to the latest Census of Agriculture, 13,406 West Virginia farms produced 871,746 tons of hay from 519,993 harvested acres in 2017.

With an increase in farms (up 10 percent) and land in farms (up 2 percent) from 2012, West Virginia continues to stand strong in agriculture and strives to increase agriculture production and awareness.

Of West Virginia’s 23,622 farms, 98 percent are family-owned. The total value of production for West Virginia totaled $754.3 million, with livestock making up 80 percent and crops 20 percent of the sales, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The “Mountain State’s” top 5 commodities ranked by sales are:

2017 Ranking of Market Value of Ag Products Sold (Top 5 Commodities)

Item

Farms

Sales ($1,000)

Rank by Sale

Percent of Total Sales

Poultry and eggs

3,020

387,884

1

51.4

Cattle and calves

9,361

171,784

2

22.8

Other crops and hay

11,593

49,804

3

6.6

Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas

875

36,775

4

4.9

Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod

421

32,516

5

4.3

The 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire featured new data items, ranging from multiple producers, producers with military service (veterans), and new and beginning farmers in the demographic section. There were 38,182 West Virginia producers operating farms in the “Mountain State” and 13,498 were women producers making up 35.4 percent of total West Virginia producers. The average age of producers was 57.5 years, up slightly from 57.2 in 2012.   Producers with military service totaled 5,160 and producers that were new and beginning farmers totaled 11,835.

On behalf of NASS, I would like to thank all veterans for your service and for making agriculture your field of interest. To all producers who took the time to let your voices be heard by submitting a 2017 Census of Agriculture form, thank you. Thank you for your time, patience, and for providing the necessary data that help inform decisions about WV agriculture. To our NASS partners, including fellow agencies at USDA, thank you for helping us spread the word about the importance of the Census of Agriculture.

Category/Topic: Research and Science

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