WASHINGTON — Virginia farmers earned $5.5 billion from the sale of all agricultural products sold in 2022, and over half of that income was generated in the top 10 ag counties across the state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2022 Census of Agriculture.

Conducted once every five years, the census analyzes land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. Preliminary national, state and county-level data for 2022 was made available Feb. 13.

The top 10 Virginia counties based on the value of agricultural production are Rockingham with $1.2 billion, Augusta with $448 million, Accomack with $326 million, Shenandoah with $225 million, Page with $205 million, Orange with $142 million, Southampton with $124 million, Northampton with $109 million, Pittsylvania with $100 million and Washington with $94 million. Combined, they total $2.97 billion in the market value of products sold in 2022.

Rockingham, Augusta and Accomack counties are regular leaders in agricultural production, with poultry and dairy farms serving as “big catalysts for those farm receipts,” explained Tony Banks, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation senior assistant director of agriculture, development and innovation.

Based on the market value of agricultural products sold in Virginia, poultry and eggs are the top farm commodities, generating $2.23 billion in 2022, according to the census data.

Rockingham, Augusta and Accomack counties were ranked as the top three for income from poultry and eggs in 2022, with strong boiler production in all three counties and thriving turkey and table egg production in Augusta and Rockingham.

Rockingham and Augusta also rank in the top three counties for income from milk and cattle and calves.

“And when you factor in the number of crops that are grown to feed the poultry, dairy and beef operations—especially corn, soybeans and hay—it all adds up,” Banks said.

In Accomack County, vegetable production is the second largest driver of farm income. The county is among Virginia’s top 10 for soybeans and is ranked second for potatoes harvested in 2022.

Virginia’s top farm income-earning commodities following poultry and eggs were grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas, generating $834 million; cattle and calves, $695 million; nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod, $399 million; and milk, $354 million.

Banks noted continued growth in the nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod sector—surpassing historic leaders like tobacco, which generated $69.6 million in farm income in 2022.

“Virginia, being an urbanizing state, has a tremendous green industry,” he said. “We’re also experiencing significant growth in the number of controlled environment agricultural facilities growing greens, herbs and small fruit, with more CEA facilities under construction or planned in Virginia.”

Also ranking in the top 10 farm commodities statewide were: other crops and hay, which generated $185 million; hogs and pigs, $158 million; fruits, tree nuts and berries, $144 million; vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes, $135 million; and aquaculture, $119 million.

Access the full report at nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.

–Virginia Farm Bureau



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