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Agricultural Economic Activity in Noble's Service Area Driven By Forage-Based Beef Production

Posted Jun. 1, 2006

The purpose of this article is to provide a static (single year) view of economic production activities generated on farms and ranches by various agricultural industries in the Noble Research Institute's 47-county service region.

In 2002, approximately $2.23 billion in agricultural products were produced on farms, ranches and feedlots in Noble's service area. The percentage breakdown of this total value by industry is reported in Figure 1. As seen in the figure, approximately 60 percent of the total value was produced by the cattle ranching and dairy farming industry. In addition to cattle ranching and dairy farming activities, this industry also includes backgrounding activities, heifer replacement activities, bull and livestock breeding activities and the activities that occur at the small number of small-scale cattle feedlots located in the region.

Complementary to the cattle ranching and dairy farming industry is the forage and hay farming industry, which accounted for approximately 19 percent of the total value of agricultural products and commodities produced in the region. Much of the forage and hay products produced in this industry were sold to farmers in the cattle ranching and dairy farming industry.

The grain farming industry accounted for approximately 6 percent of the total value of products produced in 2002. This industry also complements the cattle ranching and dairy farming industry via grazing activities throughout the winter. Therefore, more than 80 percent of the production agriculture economic activity in the rural service region is produced by forage- and hay-based beef production industries.

Several other agricultural industries produce products and commodities in Noble's service area. These industries combined accounted for approximately 15 percent of the total value produced for the 2001-2002 growing season. Of this 15 percent, equine and other non-beef livestock activities accounted for 5 percent, and the activities within the greenhouse and nursery production industry accounted for 4 percent. The remaining 6 percent of the total value was produced by a variety of industries, each accounting for 1 percent or less.

The data reported here represent a static view of the regional agricultural economy. It is the Ag Division's goal to monitor this data each year in order to identify any trends, changes and possible opportunities for producers and other stewards of natural resources in order to help them increase their financial, production and quality-of-life goals.