Arkansas’ diverse portfolio of livestock products and crops supports the value of the agriculture sector year in and year out.
In 2012, there were 45,100 farms in Arkansas. These farms generated a net farm income of $2.0 billiona (ERS, 2014). Arkansas ranked 13th in total agricultural exports with a value of $3.9 billion. Arkansas was ranked in the top ten in the nation for exports of four commodities:
• Number 1 in rice, with exports valued at $863 million;
• Number 2 in chicken meat, with exports valued at $533 million;
• Number 5 in cotton, with exports valued at $463 million; and
• Number 9 in soybeans, with exports valued at $1,113 million.
In 2012, Arkansas ranked 34th in overall GDP at $113.1 billiona (BEA, 2014). However in terms of agricultural cash receipts in 2012, Arkansas ranked 16th with a value of $9.8 billion. Arkansas ranked 16th in total crop cash receipts at $4.8 billion and 12th in total livestock cash receipts at $4.6 billion.
According to NASS, rice and soybean cash receipts represented 32% of total agricultural cash receipts and 63% of the total crop cash receipts in 2012. Arkansas rice cash receipts comprised almost 42% of the U.S. total rice cash receipts.
Arkansas total cash receipts increased 14% between 2011 and 2012.b Cash receipts for many individual crops in 2012 increased greatly over their 2011 values. Crops with the largest increases in value between 2011 and 2012 were sweet potatoes (114% increase), sorghum grain (87%), watermelon (81%), corn (71%), peaches (66%) and soybeans (44%). However, some of the crops saw a decrease in value such as pecans (35% decrease) and oats (19%).
In real dollar terms, cash receipts from livestock and livestock products increased $184 million (or 4.4%) from 2011 to $4.43 billion. This overall growth was driven by increases in cash receipts for honey (30%), cattle and calves (10%), chicken eggs (6%) and broilers (5%).
a All values in 2012 dollars unless otherwise noted.
b Comparisons between 2011 and 2012 values presented here are different than those released by the USDA NASS in the Arkansas Agricultural Cash Receipts Report (August 27, 2013). Our calculations are based on real 2012 dollars. That is, our numbers are adjusted for inflation, which allows for a true “apples to apples” comparison.