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Agriculture in the Beehive State

Posted by John Hilton, Utah State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Research and Science
Nov 01, 2019
A view of solar panels
Nearly 6 percent of farms in Utah have solar panels.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Utah had more than 18,400 farms encompassing more than 10.8 million acres. This is an increase of 2 percent in the number of farms and a decrease of 1 percent in total acres compared to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Just under 80 percent of Utah’s farmland is permanent pasture and rangeland –– but a significant amount is cropland, of which most is irrigated. The total value of agricultural sales is $1.84 billion, of which 31 percent are from crop sales and 69 percent are from livestock and their products!

The top crops by value of sales are hay and other crops at over $275 million, nursery at over $135 million, and grains and oilseeds at more than $90 million. Cattle sales of about $380 million, milk at $355 million, and hogs around $230 million round out the top three livestock items by value of sales.

Utah is the second largest producer of tart cherries in the country! A majority of the 8,419 fruit acres in the state are devoted to tart cherries (4,732 acres), followed by peaches (1,582 acres), and apples (1,211 acres).

While not a state with a lot of vegetable acreage, Utah’s top three vegetables are dry onions (1,616 acres), pumpkins (1,415 acres), and sweet corn (1,075 acres).

The number of farms with renewable energy systems more than doubled since the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The increase was seen in the number of farms with solar panel arrays at 1,081 up from 425 in 2012 and geothermal systems at 115 farms up from 40 in 2012.

We want to thank all the farmers and ranchers who willingly shared their data so we could produce the 2017 Census of Agriculture in Utah. We appreciate your cooperation and help! For more information about agriculture in Utah, check out the Utah state profile (PDF, 919 KB).

Category/Topic: Research and Science