Mississippi’s agriculture industry is not only vital to the growth and well-being of the state, but also plays a significant role in the national economy. The Magnolia State has become an important producer nationwide with 15 different commodities ranking in the top 20 nationally. Farms in the state cover a total of 11.2 million acres. These 42,400 farms are located in all parts of the state and grow a variety of products. Broilers, chickens raised for meat, are the top commodity in the state. They are raised primarily in central Mississippi but can be found on 1,478 farms statewide. The value of production increased by $149 million from 2011 to 2012, totaling $2.32 billion. Mississippi Agriculture Soybeans, corn and cotton are three of the top five most valuable crops grown in Mississippi, and they also rank in the top 20 nationally. Soybeans are grown on 2,695 farms, and corn is grown on 2,113 farms, most of which are located in or near the Mississippi Delta. In 2012, 940,000 bales of cotton were produced, also predominately in the Delta. The Mississippi Delta’s fertile soil is enhanced by silt deposited by the Mississippi River. Many farms are located in this area because of the rich land. But agriculture in Mississippi is more than crops and livestock. Forestry, fishing, hunting and wildlife have a significant impact on the state’s economy by providing revenue and jobs. Mississippi forests cover 19.6 million acres which constitutes 60 percent of the state. Forestry-related jobs employ 25 percent of Mississippi’s manufacturing workforce. The value of production for Mississippi’s No. 3 commodity was more than $1 billion in 2012. Mississippi Agriculture Fishing, hunting and wildlife have a $2.7 billion annual economic impact and provide 66,171 jobs. Wildlife abounds in thousands of acres of streams, ponds, lakes and reservoirs. The most profitable wildlife endeavor is hunting, earning $1.14 billion a year. As a whole, agriculture is responsible for 29 percent of the state’s employment and 22 percent of statewide income. Mississippi’s rich soils nurture a diverse agricultural industry and make a large impact on the state’s economy.

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