In most states, the crop or livestock bringing in the most money is not unique to that state and is grown in large quantities throughout the country. In 30 states, for example, the most valuable agricultural product is either cattle or chickens.
Some states, however, have managed to cultivate as their main cash crop certain products not grown on a large scale in other parts of the country. Hawaii, for example, produced $53.9 million worth of macadamia nuts in 2017 — more than any other agricultural product in the state. The macadamia nut is native to Australia and was first introduced to Hawaii in 1882, where U.S. production remains concentrated today.
Other top crops unique to their state include Florida oranges, Massachusetts cranberries, New Jersey blueberries, Maine potatoes, and California grapes.
To determine the most important agricultural product from each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the total production value of approximately 170 agricultural commodities in 2017 using data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. We considered livestock and plants and excluded non-food agricultural products, such as cotton, tobacco, and hay.
Data on the total value of all crops produced came from the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture. Data on the size of the agricultural workforce in each state also came from the 2012 Census of Agriculture, and was adjusted for the size of the total workforce with data from the 2012 Economic Census. All data are for the most recent period available.
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