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Economic Impact of North Carolina Agriculture Increases to $111 Billion

With an economic impact of $111.1 billion, it was another record year for North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness, according to calculations by North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced the new total (up from $103.2 billion last year) to kick off the Got to Be NC Festival on May 17.

“It’s exciting to see numbers like these because they show the strength and resilience of agriculture and agribusiness in this state,” Troxler said.

Troxler said the economic impact figure reflects North Carolina’s ranking as the top U.S. producer of sweet potatoes, tobacco, poultry and eggs; second in Christmas trees, turkeys and trout; third in pigs and cucumbers; and fifth in cotton.

“This growth is also a result of our continued investment in agricultural research, our continued efforts to expand and attract new food manufacturing and create more value-added opportunities, and the continued support of our policymakers,” Troxler said.

Last year’s economic impact report showed North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness reached triple digits for the first time since Walden began publishing an annual economic snapshot in the 1980s.

The new total reflects value-added revenue from the state’s food, natural fiber and forestry industries. Walden used the latest available statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which are from 2022, along with multipliers to arrive at the economic impact figure.

Walden said value-added revenue in the report includes sales at the farm level. For manufacturing, wholesale and retail calculations, total value added does not include the value of inputs produced outside of North Carolina. The process avoids multiple counts of a product used multiple times in the production chain.

Walden’s report is titled Agriculture and Agribusiness, North Carolina’s Number One Industry.