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Florida Ag Remains a Powerful Economic Engine

February 10, 2014

 

As a regulatory agency of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Division of Plant Industry works to detect, intercept and control plant and honey bee pests that threaten Florida’s native and commercially grown plants and agricultural resources.

Florida agriculture is an enterprise that encompasses 47,500 farms producing nearly 300 different commodities on more than 9 million acres of land. It employs 2 million people and contributes more than $104 billion to the state’s economy each year.

The magnitude of Florida’s agricultural industry is made manifest in the FDACS publication, 2013: Florida Agriculture by the  Numbers, a valuable document for anyone involved in the agriculture industry, or who wants to understand the industry in detail. The Overview, below, is excerpted from the book.

The full report can be downloaded here.

FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL OVERVIEW

PrintFlorida’s 47,500 commercial farms, utilizing 9.25 million acres, continue to produce a wide variety of safe and
dependable food products. From the citrus groves and the nurseries in central and southern Florida, to the vegetables in various regions around the State, to the cattle and calves throughout the State, these farms and ranches provide Florida with a large and stable economic base.

In 2012 Florida ranked:

First in the U.S. in the value of production of oranges and grapefruit.
First in value of production of fresh market snap beans, cucumbers for fresh market, cucumbers for pickles,
squash, sweet corn, fresh market tomatoes, sugarcane for sugar & seed and watermelons.
Second in value of production of bell peppers, strawberries, and tangerines.
Third in value of production of honey.

In 2012, in terms of total value of production, Florida accounted for:

66 percent of the total U.S. value for oranges ($1.5 billion)
65 percent of the total U.S. value for grapefruit ($187 million)
52 percent of the total U.S. value for snap beans ($167 million)
49 percent of the total U.S. value for sugarcane for sugar and seed ($673 million) 1
33 percent of the total U.S. value for bell peppers ($207 million)
31 percent of the total U.S. value for fresh market tomatoes ($268 million)
27 percent of the total U.S. value for squash ($67 million)
27 percent of the total U.S. value for cucumbers for fresh market ($67 million)
27 percent of the total U.S. value for watermelons ($138 milion)
22 percent of the total U.S. value for sweet corn ($180 million)
16 percent of the total U.S. value for tangerines ($55 million)
Florida citrus growers in 2011-2012 produced 146.7 million boxes of oranges (96 percent of which were used for orange juice) and 18.9 million boxes of grapefruit (57 percent of which were used for grapefruit juice). Fruit sales exceeded $1.8 billion.
Florida growers harvested vegetables for fresh market from 186,700 acres in 2012. The value of vegetable crops
exceeded $1.1 billion. Florida ranks second to California in the total value of fresh market vegetable production.
Livestock and products in 2011 produced cash receipts of $1.5 billion.

Poultry farms generated $363 million in sales, with $179 million coming from broilers and $181 million coming from eggs. Florida ranked 14th in the number of chickens on farms in 2011. Florida’s poultry farmers maintained an average of 9.0 million layers in 2011 (producing 2.7 billion eggs) and produced 61.8 million broilers.

On January 1, 2012 there were 1.66 million head of cattle on farms and ranches in Florida, including 900,000 head of beef cows and 123,000 head of milk cows.

The total cash receipts for nursery and greenhouse products in Florida were $1.8 billion in 2011.
1 Data for 2011, the latest year available.

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