This week we proudly publish our annual Salute to Agriculture in an effort of applaud the industry and to also education our communities about the importance and depth that agriculture plays in people’s day to day lives.
In Nebraska, agriculture in a $21.5 billion dollar industry with far-reaching impact for communities, schools and individuals.
Agriculture isn’t just corn growing in rows down the field, or cattle grazing in a pasture. The agriculture industry also encompasses the man selling seed and chemicals, the mechanic that keeps the tractors running or the guy keeping the fertilizer flowing. The agriculture industry includes the vet that saves a calf and the rancher that is fixing fence or the farmer harvesting hay.
According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, beef production is the largest sector of agriculture in Nebraska with 19,000 cow/calf operations making their home in our great state, while 23,000 corn farmers across the state are producing six times more corn than in the 1920s.
Though beef and corn are the two major players in Nebraska agriculture, here are a few interesting facts about agriculture here in the Cornhusker State:
•Center pivot irrigation is the most common method of providing water to row crops in the state, and as a result, four of the largest manufacturers of center pivot systems in the world are located in Nebraska.
•Nebraska is the second largest ethanol producing state in the nation with approximately 25 operating ethanol plants that produce more than two billion gallons of renewable fuel annually.
•Nebraska’s beef industry generates approximately $7.2 billion in annual cash receipts.
•Nebraska’s pork industry generates more than $1 billion in annual cash receipts.
•Milk sales account for nearly $300 million of Nebraska’s annual agriculture receipts.
•There are around 80,000 sheep and lambs raised in Nebraska. The state is home to around more than 20,000 meat goats and around 4,000 dairy goats.
•More than 9.5 million birds populate Nebraska’s commercial laying facilities and produce more than 2.8 billion eggs each year.
•One bushel of soybeans can make 1.5 gallons of biodiesel.
•Nebraska has approximately 1.5 million acres in wheat production, with between 55 and 70 million bushels harvested each year.
•More than six million tons of hay and alfalfa were grown in Nebraska in 2014.
•There are approximately 50,000 bee colonies in Nebraska with more than 3.75 million pounds of honey produced annually.
•Nebraska ranks first in popcorn production in the United States producing more than 350 million pounds annually.
•Several varieties of beans are grown in Nebraska including: Great Northern beans, pinto beans, black beans, light red kidney beans, navy beans, pink beans and and garbanzo beans.
•Nebraska production more than 1.3 million tons of sugar beets, ranking fifth in the nation.
•Nebraska has ranked as high as 10th in the nation for potato production at 8.4 million hundredweight.
•More than five million bushels of sorghum is produced in Nebraska annually.
•There are approximately 15 Christmas tree farms in Nebraska where people can choose and harvest their tree.
•Nebraska has 611 acres of grapes and 550 vines per acre producing more than 100,000 gallons of Nebraska wine produced each year.
•Nebraska has approximately 100 farmer’s markets, 240 roadside stands and 40 u-pick operations producing fruits and vegetables.
•In 2014, the proso millet crop in Nebraska was alued at $10 million.
(All the above information comes from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture).
Agriculture is a part of all of our lives, whether you grow up on a farm or ranch in Nebraska or whether you live your entire life in a small town or in the cities of Nebraska. Just look at the list above and you can see that agriculture is the lifeline of our state.
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