In 2020, the top 10 agricultural producing States in terms of cash receipts were California, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

State Ranking State receipts for all commodities
California 1 49,820,451
Iowa 2 27,473,604
Nebraska 4 21,299,624
Texas 3 21,979,362
Minnesota 5 17,250,102
Illinois 6 16,804,858
Kansas 7 16,020,033
North Carolina 8 11,080,622
Wisconsin 9 10,966,576
Indiana 10 10,500,857

Data as of February 5, 2020, reported by United States Department of Agriculture

Leading U.S. Farm Commodities

In 2018, the 10 largest sources of cash receipts from the sale of U.S. farm commodities were (in descending order):

These and related statistics can be found in ERS's Farm Income and Wealth Statistics.

Agriculture and its role in our economy..

Agriculture is vitally important to the overall U.S. economy. Indeed, it was a farming culture of young American colonies that laid the foundation for what we are today. Although there are larger industries by annual revenue, few are as important as food and related industries that provide the basic commodities needed for human survival.

How important is agriculture to the overall economy?

Although farming isn't in the top ten most profitable industries in the world, it is nonetheless a coveted sector or our society that is dependent by humans for a basic requirement - food. In 2015, the USDA reported the following statistics on agriculture and its related industries.

Value added by industry as percent of GDP:

Industry 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Farms 0.9 1.1 0.9 1.1 1.0 0.8
Forestry, fishing, and hunting 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Food, beverages, and tobacco products 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4
Textile mills and textile product mills 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Apparel and leather and allied products 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Food services and drinking places 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9
Ag-Related as a percent of GDP 4.7 4.8 4.6 4.8 4.7 4.5

The significance of farming is no less as important today as it was in ancient times when there were far less established industries that added to the cycle of goods and services. Today, Americans are dependent on a number of automotive, retail and technology sectors, but none are as important as the sector of dedicated farmers that make it possible to put food on our tables. Yes, the health, well-being, and survival of all humans depend on them.

A Global Hot Spot

If you like soaking up the sun and drinking iced tea, you might consider visiting Yuma Arizona. Yuma is at the top of the list of cities in the U.S. with the most sun. Yes, the clouds are on vacation for the majority of the year in this hot and arid place known as the Sonora desert. In fact, the World Meteorological Organization considers Yuma Arizona as the sunniest place on planet earth. And it's also hot, as temperatures exceed 104° about 100 days per year. Yes, nothing beats living in a life-sized Dutch oven (hell never sounded so good).

Winter Lettuce Capital of the World

Lots of sun rays are good for crops, and even though the rainfall does not exceed 200mm per year, ice burg lettuce has little to no problem flourishing there. Yuma is known as the "Winter Lettuce Capital of the World." A combination of fertile alluvial soil, water from the Colorado River, and 90% sunshine each year, give Arizona farmers the ability to successfully grow and supply the U.S. (and the world) with many types of vegetables and a few types of fruit. PDF»

Places in the U.S. with the least cloudy skies. Clear days is the average number days a year when clouds cover less than one-third of the sky. Current Results»

City, State Percent of Sunshine
Yuma, Arizona90%
Redding California88%
Phoenix, Arizona85%
Tucson, Arizona85%
Las Vegas, Nevada85%
El Paso, Texas84%
Fresno, California79%
Reno, Nevada79%
Flagstaff, Arizona78%
Sacramento, California78%
Pueblo, Colorado76%
Key West, Florida76%
Albuquerque, New Mexico76%

Bill Gates and Farmland Acquisitions

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates gave a few of his thoughts about his recent farmland property acquisitions. He stated that the agriculture sector is important, and with more productive seeds, we can avoid deforestation and help Africa to deal with the climate difficulty they already face. It is unclear how cheap biofuels can be but if they are cheap it can solve the aviation and truck emissions.

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