American agriculture is, unless you live in the Heartland, largely ignored. There are more exciting developments to the public happening on the tech coasts than there are innovations in the farming heart of the country, but no matter which way you slice it, agriculture is still at the center of many states’ economies. I wondered about the distribution of crops across the country on countless drives through almost every region, from the Northeast to the West and it seems that Joe Satran, a staff writer for the Huffington Post, felt the same way.

The purpose behind creating this original infographic was, originally, to determine what crops make the most money for each state. As it turns out, when he began to compile data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistical Service, he found “that in most states, the biggest crop was one that was used mostly for animal feed.” So without further ado, check out this map of the United States and the most lucrative food crop American farmers there produce.

Huffington Post

For a closer look, here’s the full list and profit per year. Remember, these are only for human food crops, per the United States Department of Agriculture report, and therefore Iowa’s $4.5-million-per-year corn crop isn’t on this list.

Alabama: Peanuts, $241M

Alaska: Potatoes, $3.8M

Arizona: Lettuce, $424M

Arkansas: Rice, $136M

California: Grapes, $5.2B

Colorado: Wheat, $536M

Connecticut: Sweet corn, $11M

Delaware: Wheat, $44M

Florida: Oranges, $1.8B

Georgia: Peanuts, $960M

Hawaii: Sugarcane, $73M

Idaho: Potatoes, $1B

Illinois: Wheat, $139M

Indiana: Wheat, $243m

Iowa: Wheat, $4.5M

Kansas: Wheat, $2.9B

Kentucky: Wheat, $201M

Louisiana: Sugarcane, $512M

Maine: Potatoes, $177M

Maryland: Wheat, $114M

Massachusetts: Cranberries, $100M

Michigan: Wheat, $322M

Minnesota: Wheat, $622M

Mississippi: Rice, $136M

Missouri: Wheat, $272M

Montana: Wheat, $1.6B

Nebraska: Wheat, $419M

Nevada: Wheat, $9.3M

New Hampshire: Apples, $7.8M

New Jersey: Blueberries, $81M

New Mexico: Pecans, $111M

New York: Apples, $250M

North Carolina: Wheat, $286M

North Dakota: Wheat, $2.7B

Ohio: Wheat, $243M

Oklahoma: Wheat, $1.2B

Oregon: Wheat, $465M

Pennsylvania: Mushrooms, $529M

Rhode Island: Sweet corn, $3.5M

South Carolina: Peanuts, $133M

South Dakota: Wheat, $821M

Tennessee: Wheat, $145M

Texas: Wheat, $643M

Utah: Wheat, $52M

Vermont: Maple syrup, $35M

Virginia: Wheat, $113M

Washington: Apples, $2.5B

West Virginia: Apples, $23M

Wisconsin: Wheat, $622M

Wyoming: Beans, $37M

Overall, there are some surprises on this list. For example, I wouldn’t have expected New Mexico to be the most lucrative U.S. agriculture source of pecans. Modern agriculture, though, still shows that wheat is the most lucrative crop for most states in the U.S. In the southern region, though we see peanuts creep into the picture. The Northeast is, by far, the most diverse region of lucrative crops, with the varied fruits and vegetables grown by U.S. farmers.


Again, this map doesn’t reflect the percentage of each state’s agricultural contribution to feed for farm animals, though Satran did create an infographic featuring the division between human food and animal feed in the United States. To learn more and check out that infographic, head on over to Huffington Post.


So the next time you’re driving through farmland for miles, consider what’s being grown around you. We all move through this country without often considering the ones on the ground breaking their backs to lift it up for economic growth.

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