See What Farm Products Are Considered the Major Agricultural Products This Year
We may live in the digital age where technology is king, but we are still people who need to eat in order to survive. This means that age-old farm production and farm products are still vitally important to our society.
The landscape of agricultural products has shifted over the years. What once were the main sources of crop production may fade in favor of others. What becomes the major crops all depends on the current tastes, trends, value, and cost of farm products.
For this year, however, we have created a list of agricultural products that can easily be considered the major agricultural products of our time here in the United States. All of the examples of agricultural products on our list produce not only high yields, but also high value.
We will start this guide by explaining what agricultural products and agricultural production are. Then we will give you a glance at farm production within the United States.
Finally, we will finish up with this year’s ranking of major agricultural products.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 9 Best Major Agricultural Products
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the crop production names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that farm product):
Top 9 Best Agricultural Products | Brief Comparison
|Cattle||Lifestock||Second largest livestock production after poultry|
|Corn||Crop||#1 grain produced in the United States|
|Cotton||Crop||A large export for the United States|
|Dairy||Livestock||All 50 states produce dairy|
|Poultry||Livestock||#1 livestock produced in the United States|
|Rice||Crop||A large export for the United States|
|Soybeans||Crop||U.S. is the #1 grower of soybeans|
|Sugar||Crop||One of the largest crops in the United States|
|Wheat||Crop||3rd most planted crop in the U.S.|
Table: Top 6 Best Farm Products | Above list is sorted alphabetically
What Is a List of Agricultural Products?
Before we discuss the major agricultural products, it is important to understand what agricultural products are.
Normally, when we talk about “products,” we often think of inanimate objects like cleaning supplies or tech gadgets.
Image source: Pixabay
But the term “agricultural products” is used for all sorts of living things used to enhance human life, mainly through nourishment.
An agriculture product list could include:
- Animals or livestock
- Plants or fungi
- Medicinal plants
Examples of agricultural products are:
Agricultural production, then, is the science and practice of planting, growing, or raising agri products. This, of course, includes farming.
Farm Products in the United States
Throughout this list of agricultural products, we will be focusing on U.S. farm products. So let’s see what farm production is like in the United States.
- The United States has a total surface area of 1,944,142,600 acres. Of that acreage, 971,232,700 acres are used for agricultural products or purposes.
- Agricultural production contributes around $985 billion to the United States economy.
- Under 2% of the United States population is involved in agricultural products, compared to nearly half the population in 1870.
Note that as we talk about the list of agricultural products, you may see many references to 2012. That is because a large farm census was done in the United States that year.
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Farm Products
Below, please find a detailed review of each of the agricultural crops on our list of agricultural products. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these major crops to score so highly in our selection ranking.
First up on our list of agricultural products is cattle. In 2012, it was reported that the United States had nearly 90 million cattle and calves. Out of major crops in the livestock category, cattle comes in second after poultry.
Image Source: USDA
Cattle as farm products are often broken up into three different distinctions:
- Dairy cattle (Dairy comes later in the list of agricultural products)
- Beef cattle
Without a doubt, one of the major agricultural products on our list of agricultural products is corn.
Corn is the most widely produced of all grain agricultural products in the United States. There are many reasons why this is one of the largest of farm products:
- Eating corn and corn products (cornmeal, corn chips, popcorn, etc.) is a large part of the American diet.
- Corn syrup is extremely popular; in fact, it is estimated that around 35.7 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by the average American each year.
- Corn is often used to feed other agricultural products, like livestock.
In 2016, the United States made over 15 billion bushels of corn. This was the highest corn crop production ever. Around 10 to 20% of the United States’ corn production is exported to other countries.
The value of corn agricultural production in the United States is over $53 billion.
Next up on our list of agricultural products is cotton. Around 30% of the fiber the world uses is cotton. Together with India and China, the United States creates around two-thirds of the cotton agricultural products for the world.
In 2016, the United States created 17 million bales of cotton. Though this is not the highest yield in recent years, this is still significant farm production.
The value of cotton farm production in the United States is over $5 billion. This may not seem like major agricultural products at first glance. However, when you combine the cotton with its many products and services, it becomes a $21 billion industry.
This includes employing over 125,000 people.
Though we have already discussed cattle as major agricultural products, dairy production is so significant it deserves its own spot on our ranking of top major agricultural products.
As you can see in the chart below, cheese also contributed to dairy being considered one of the best farm products of 2017.
Image Source: USDA
Dairy is one of the few farm products produced in all 50 states.
Next up on our list of agricultural products is poultry. When it comes to major agricultural products, the United States wins out as the #1 for poultry farm production in the world.
Examples of agricultural products in the “poultry” category:
- Broilers: Chickens intended for meat, not eggs, are called broilers. These farm products account for most of poultry’s value.
- Eggs: Another aspect of poultry farm production is eggs. In 2015, the United States produced almost 97 billion eggs.
- Turkeys: Turkeys are considerably lower value to the major agriculture product list by themselves, but they only make the poultry category even larger.
The next agricultural crop on our agriculture product list is rice. As you may imagine, most of the world’s rice is grown in Asia – around 90%, in fact.
However, the United States is another important exporter. In 2016, the United States created 224 million hundredweight of rice. This was higher agricultural production that the previous five years.
All of this rice crop production mostly happens in six states:
Examples of agricultural products in the “rice” category include:
- Long grain: Over 70% of the United States’ rice crop production
- Medium grain: More than 25% of the United States’ rice farm products
- Short grain: Less than 2% of the United States’ rice agricultural production
It has been expected that rice farm products and their yields will continue to increase.
The average person with no crop production experience may not automatically guess that soybeans would top the list of agricultural products. Agri products like corn or wheat may make more sense.
But consider these two facts about soybean agricultural production:
- The world’s greatest source of animal protein feed comes from soybeans
- The largest production of soybeans comes from the United States
In 2016, the United States created 4.31 billion bushels of soybeans. This was a large leap from the previous two years at 3.93 billion bushels of soybean farm production each.
It is expected that soybean farm products will continue to grow in demand over the next 10 years.
Many of the soybean agricultural products are bioengineered. In fact, according to the USDA, soybeans “were one of the first bioengineered crops to achieve commercial success.”
Now, let’s take a look at the sweetest of agricultural crops: sugar. No country eats more sugar than the United States, so it makes sense that it has massive sugar agricultural production.
In 2013, farmers produced just under 30 million tons of sugar beets. The only other major crops that produced more that year were corn, milk, soybeans, and wheat.
When it comes to sugar cane agricultural products, the U.S. is the 10th largest producer in the world.
The last of the major agricultural products on our list of agricultural products is wheat. Wheat is not only popular among major crops, it is also a highly exported item. The U.S. exports around half of its wheat.
There are many classes of wheat. Examples of agricultural products in the “wheat” category include:
- Hard red winter
- Soft red winter
- Hard red spring
- White wheat
- Durum wheat
The wheat agricultural products also create by-products like bran or shorts, often used for livestock feed.
In 2016, the United States created 2.31 billion bushels of wheat, making this year higher in wheat agricultural production than the past seven years.
In all the agricultural crops within the United States, wheat is the third most planted in terms of acreage and receipts.
Conclusion – Top 9 Major Agricultural Products
Now you have gone through this guide on agricultural products/farm products, you can have a better understanding of the following:
- What farm production is
- Examples of agricultural products
- Agricultural production in the United States
- A list of agricultural products that play a significant role in U.S. farming
Outside of the agriculture product list of 9 top producers, here are some of the other major agricultural products:
You can use all of this information to better inform you on the topic of agriculture and agricultural production.
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