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Agriculture, agribusiness exceeds $111.1B in economic impact

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(The Center Square) – Growing by nearly $8 billion, agriculture and agribusiness have an economic impact of $111.1 billion in North Carolina, the state agriculture commissioner says.

The analysis is from Dr. Mike Walden, an N.C. State University economist who used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and other multipliers.

“It’s exciting to see numbers like these because it shows the strength and resiliency of agriculture and agribusiness in this state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

North Carolina is No. 1 nationally each in all tobacco, flue-cured tobacco, sweet potatoes, and poultry and eggs. It is No. 2 in Christmas tree sales, production turkeys, and food-size trout sold. It is No. 3 in cucumbers and hogs, No. 4 in peanuts and broilers (chicken), and No. 5 in cotton.

Troxler said the state has experienced $18 billion in growth since coming out of the COVID-19 era in 2022 during what he described as “challenging times.”

The state continues to face demands, including for the farmland of the state and to feed the world.

“Agriculture is our food supply,” Troxler said. “It is an important industry because it feeds us. We don’t ever want to have to rely on another country to feed us. We want to be self-reliant when it comes to our food supply and that’s why it is important that we support our farmers.”

About 42,500 farms are operated on 8.1 million acres. That includes production of more than 260 million pounds of tobacco on 113,120 acres. Sweet potato production was more than 15.1 million hundredweight. On egg farms, about 9 million laying hens produce more than 7.5 million eggs each day.

Troxler said, “This growth is also a result of our continued investment in agricultural research, our continued efforts to expand and attract new food manufacturing and to create more value-added opportunities, and the continued support of our legislators.”

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