Woman in Agriculture

The total number of farms in Florida may be down, but the number of farms owned or managed by women is rising.


Around the country, farms run by women are on the increase. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms with women as primary operators grew 58 percent from 1975 to 1997, and it is predicted that as much as 75 percent of U.S. farmland will be owned by women by 2014.


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Agriculture's Importance to Florida

In 2005, Florida had 42,500 commercial farms, utilizing 10 million acres to continue to     produce a variety of food products.

Florida ranked first in the United States for sales of snap beans, fresh market tomatoes, cucumbers for fresh market, cucumbers for pickles, bell peppers, squash and watermelons.

Florida also ranked first in the United States in the value of production of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and sugarcane for sugar and seed.

Florida ranked second in the United States in sales of greenhouse and nursery products, sweet corn and strawberries.

Florida ranked fourth in value of production of honey.

In 2005 Florida accounted for:
-- 56 percent of the total U.S. value of production for oranges ($843 million)
-- 52 percent of the total U.S. value of production for grapefruit ($208 million)
-- 53 percent of the total U.S. value of production for tangerines ($68.4 million)
-- 53 percent of the total U.S. value of production for sugarcane for sugar and seed ($433 million as of 2004)
-- 49 percent of the total U.S. value of sales for fresh market tomatoes ($805 million)
-- 44 percent of the total U.S. value of sales for bell peppers ($213 million)
-- 31 percent of the total U.S. value of sales for cucumbers for fresh market ($73.7 million)
-- 31 percent of the total U.S. value of sales for watermelons ($127 million)

Year Total Number of Farms Total Acres Average Farm Size
1996 45,000 10,700,000 237.8
1997 45,000 10,600,000 235.6
1998 45,000 10,500,000 233.3
1999 45,000 10,500,000 233.3
2000 44,000 10,400,000 236.4
2001 44,000 10,300,000 234.1
2002 44,000 10,300,000 234.1
2003 44,000 10,200,000 231.8
2004 43,200 10,100,000 234.0
2005 42,500 10,000,000 235.0

Farms and Land in Farms

Florida had 42,500 commercial farms in 2005, using a total of 10,000,000 acres. There were 6,300 farms with sales exceeding $100,000. The average farm size was just under 235 acres. The number of farms in Florida has remained fairly stable over the past 10 years

Cash Receipts

Nationally Florida ranks second in the value of vegetables and melon production, with cash receipts of $1.4 billion, third in fruit and nuts with receipts of $1.5 billion, fifth in all crops with receipts of $5.4 billion, and 10th in total cash receipts.


In 2005, the wholesale value of Florida foliage plants was almost $500 million. Florida leads the nation in sales of potted foliage for indoor use and foliage hanging baskets with sales of $499.7 million during 2005. Florida also remains the nationís leader in sales of cut cultivated greens among the 36 states surveyed. Florida sales of all cut greens during 2005 totaled about $78 million, 75 percent of the value for all cut greens sold in the 36 states surveyed.

Vegetables, Melons and Berries

The 2004-2005 value of production and harvested acreage for the seven major vegetable crops, potatoes, berries and watermelons totaled $1,893,183,000 and 219,900, respectively. Production value was up15 percent from the 2003-2004 value of $1,650,000,000 and harvested acreage was down 64,300 acres (or 23 percent) at 219,900, from the 284,200 acres from the 2003-2004 season. All crops except sweet corn and bell peppers showed increases in the value of production.

Commodity2004 ReceiptsPercent of Total
All Commodities $6,843,731,000100.00
Citrus $1,242,029,00018.15
Other Fruits and Nuts $236,728,0003.94
Vegetables and Melons $1,446,654,00021.14
Field Crops $704,711,00010.30
Foliage and Floriculture$825,672,00012.06
Aquatic Plants$20,000,000 0.29
Other Crops and Products$850,801,00012.43
Cattle and Calves$443,145,0006.48
Poultry and Eggs$399,108,0005.44
Aquaculture $68,539,000 1.00
Miscellaneous Livestock$141,818,0002.06
Citrus Crop Year Value
1995-96 $1,075,817,000
1996-97 $960,496,000
1997-98 $1,023,383,000
1998-99 $1,097,253,000
1999-00 $1,108,523,000
2000-01 $862,031,000
2001-02 $966,803,000
2002-03 $787,378,000
2003-04 $891,500,000
2004-05 $742,201,000


Florida accounted for 67 percent of total U.S. citrus production. California totaled 29 percent, while Texas and Arizona produced the remaining 4 percent. U.S. citrus utilized production for the 2004-2005 season totaled 11.4 million tons. Production was down in all Florida commercial citrus production areas from the 2003-2004 season. Indian River area was down the most at 76 percent. Production did decrease in each of the 30 counties, because of the hurricanes of the 2004 season.


Eighty-two million trees are planted each year in Florida, making it one of the top four tree-planting states in the nation.

Standing Timber Volume (as of 1995)

Leading Hardwood Species
Tupelo and Blackgum 1,484,400,000
Other Red Oaks  1,373,700,000
Bay and Magnolia 853,700,000
Sweetgum 563,400,000
Soft Maple 445,100,000
Hardwood Total l 5,942,000,000

  All Species Total  15,366,400,00

Leading Softwood Species
Slash Pine 4,304,700,000
Cypress 2,328,700,000
Longleaf Pine 1,057,500,000
Loblolly Pine 893,500,000
Sand Pine 489,600,000
Softwood Total 9,429,400,000
Leading Hardwood Species
Tupelo and Blackgum 1,484,400,000
Other Red Oaks  1,373,700,000
Bay and Magnolia 853,700,000
Sweetgum 563,400,000
Soft Maple 445,100,000
Hardwood Total l 5,942,000,000

                           All Species Total   15,366,400,00

Field Crops

The 2005 value of production for hay, peanuts, cotton and cottonseed, tobacco, corn, pecans, soybeans, and wheat in Florida was at $189,377,000. Acreage harvested for the field crops estimated (excluding sugarcane) totaled 573,500 acres for crop year 2005, up 5 percent. The value of sugarcane was $432,714,000 down 21 percent. Sugarcane cash receipts make up 78 percent of Floridaís cash receipts from field crops. Florida ranks number one in the production of sugarcane nationwide.


Nationally, Florida ranked 12th in beef cows and 18th in total cattle. All cattle and calves on Florida farms and ranches as of January 1, 2006, including dairy cattle, totaled 1,690,000 head. The average annual beef price of cattle marketed in Florida in 2005 was $80.00, up from $63.20 per cwt in 2004. Florida dairies produced 2.27 billion pounds of milk in 2005. The total value of Florida chicken and egg production in 2005 was $305 million. The average market price in 2005 for hogs was $44.50 per cwt.


Florida ranked 16th in the U.S. in agricultural exports in 2005 with an estimated value of $1,261,000,000. This figure is down from 2004 by $51 million

Commodity Group Export Value in Dollars U.S. Ranking
Fruits 513,500,000 3
Other 343,900,000 5
Vegetables 174,700,000 4
Seeds 38,400,000 5
Live Animals/Meat33,000,000  
Poultry 32,200,000  
Wheat 23,800,000  
Feeds and Fodders 23,300,000  
Dairy Products 22,500,000  
Cotton 21,100,000  

Over 140 countries imported Florida Agricultural commodities in 2004.
The leading importers were:

Canada $140,199,000
Japan $50,865,000
The Netherlands $29,243,000
United Arab Emirates$19,024,000

Florida County Value of Agricultural Products Sold in 2002

Palm Beach$760 million
Dade $578 million
Hillsborough$392 million
Hendry$376 million
Polk$285 million
Collier$268 million
Manatee$268 million
Orange$243 million
Highlands$236 million
DeSoto $180 million
Lake$178 million
Hardee$166 million
Okeechobee$144 million
Suwannee$136 million
Martin$128 million
St. Lucie$128 million
Indian River$117 million
Lee $113 million
Volusia$106 million
Gadsden$91 million
Marion$88 million
Pasco$84 million
Levy$83 million
Glades$72 million
Osceola$65 million
St. Johns $60 million
Alachua$59 million
Broward $50 million
Charlotte$48 million
Lafayette$48 million
Columbia$47 million
Putnam$47 million
Gilchrist$45 million
Brevard $42 million
Clay$37 million
Jackson$36 million
Sumter$31 million
Holmes$30 million
Nassau$27 million
Baker$25 million
Madison$25 million
Flagler $24 million
Duval$22 million
Hernando$22 million
Jefferson$21 million
Santa Rosa$21 million
Walton$20 million
Seminole$19 million
Bradford $18 million
Sarasota $18 million
Escambia$16 million
Calhoun$14 million
Taylor$13 million
Hamilton$12 million
Union$11 million
Pinellas$8 million
Citrus$7 million
Dixie $7 million
Leon$7 million
Okaloosa$7 million
Washington$6 million
Monroe$3 million
Bay$2 million
Wakulla$2 million
LibertyLess than $1 million
Franklin Less than $1 million

Florida Phosphate Facts

Florida is the world leader in phosphate rock production, annually producing 75 percent of the U.S. supply and 25 percent of the world supply.

Of all the phosphate in commercial production: 90 percent is used for fertilizer for the production of food and fiber; 5 percent is used for livestock feed supplements; 5 percent is used for vitamins, soft drinks, toothpaste, film, light bulbs, bone china, flame-resistant fabrics, and optical glass.

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services protects and promotes the state's agriculture industry that supports over 645,000 jobs in the state's economy. It is the lead agency for consumer protection, food safety and pesticide regulation, and plays a major role in Florida's environmental programs.

A broad spectrum of programs protects and promotes Florida agriculture. These include inspecting food products and livestock, investigating and prosecuting agricultural thefts, marketing Florida products, operating farmers' markets, carrying out tests, and eradicating pests and diseases.

Consumer protection runs the gamut ≠ from responding to consumer complaints and inspecting food processing facilities and retail food stores to testing consumer products and certifying the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices. Department inspectors also verify that amusement rides meet safety standards.

Environmental activities include developing best management practices, conducting tree-planting programs, testing water wells and groundwater for pesticides and nitrates, and managing more than 890,000 acres of state-owned forest lands.

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