Wineries & Vineyards
Baltimore Farmers' Market, Holliday St. & Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland, August 2012. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
The Department of Agriculture is responsible for marketing, animal industries, and consumer services; plant industries and pest management; and resource conservation. Data relating to the production and marketing of agricultural products, agriculture prices and income, and other statistics pertinent to agriculture and agribusiness is compiled and published by the Maryland Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Cow Judging, Maryland State Fair, Timonium, Maryland, August 2014. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
Approximately 350,000 people are employed in some aspect of agriculture, making it the largest commercial industry in Maryland. Agriculture also remains the largest single land use in the State, with 2.0 million acres, or roughly 32 percent of total land area used for farming in 2014. The majority of Maryland's farmland is located in the north central part of the State and the upper Eastern Shore. In 2014, some 12,400 Maryland farms averaged 165 acres each.
Barn and brick silo, Sabillasville (Frederick County), Maryland, July 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
In 2014, the gross cash income from commodity (crop & animal) receipts and other farm-related activities was approximately $2.7 billion, while the net cash income was approximately $676 million. Total production expenses exceeded $2.3 billion, while per farm expenses averaged $191,747. Net farm income was over $590 million while income per farm averaged $47,580.
Waverly Farmers' Market, 32nd St. & Barclay St., Baltimore, Maryland, August 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
In 2014, Caroline County was ranked the top agricultural county in the State. It led all other counties in barley and vegetables. Queen Anne's County was first in its harvest of corn, wheat, and soybeans, while Frederick County led in milk production.
In 2014, corn for grain averaged 175.3 bushels per acre. From 430,000 acres, 75.2 million bushels of corn were harvested. The soybean yield averaged 46 bushels per acre, with a total production of 23.2 million bushels. Winter wheat produced 70 bushels per acre, with 17.5 million bushels harvested. Barley production increased to 3.47 million bushels, averaging 77 bushels per acre. The total value of grain crops was approximately $617 million.
Tractor pull event, Cecil County Fair, Fair Hill, Maryland, July 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Fresh market vegetables and melons, including watermelons, spinach, and cucumbers, were valued at $26.2 million in 2014. In 2014, the potato crop was worth $10.2 million.
In 2012, some 3,973 acres were covered by orchards in Maryland, with apples and peaches the most productive crops. In 2014, nearly 1,900 acres of apple orchards and 800 acres of peach orchards were valued at $13.9 million.
DAIRY & LIVESTOCK
Milk production in 2014 totaled 980 million pounds, and the average milk production per cow was 19,740 pounds. The number of milk cows in 2014 was 50,000. The State's 455 dairy farms brought in $243 million.
Sheep, Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, Maryland, May 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
As of January 1, 2015, the total number of cattle and calves was 185,000. Cash receipts for cattle and calves increased to $96 million in 2014.
Frederick County leads the State in milk production - its dairy herds account for one third of the State's total.
To showcase the dairy industry and its contributions, and educate the public about farming, the Department of Agriculture each summer promotes the Maryland's Best Ice Cream Trail, a tour of eight dairy farms that runs 290 miles across the State. The dairies include Broom's Bloom Dairy (Harford County), Chesapeake Bay Farms (Worcester County), Keyes Creamery (Harford County), Kilby Cream (Cecil County), Misty Meadows Farm Creamery (Washington County), Prigel Family Creamery (Baltimore County), Rocky Point Creamery (Frederick County), and South Mountain Creamery (Frederick County).
Silos on Kilby Cream Farm, 129 Strohmaier Lane, Rising Sun, Maryland, July 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
As of January 1, 2014, approximately 2,200 milk goats and 12,600 goats were used for meat and other purposes in Maryland.
In 2014, cash receipts for market hogs were $10.2 million, up from $8.6 million in 2013. The total number of hogs and pigs in Maryland was 47,000.
Hogs at Maryland State Fair, Timonium, Maryland, August 2014. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
Over 14,300 honeybee colonies in 2,376 locations in Maryland are maintained by over 1,800 beekeepers. These colonies produce over 100,000 pounds of honey per year, and in 2014, honey was worth $488,000.
Honeybees not only produce honey and beeswax, they also pollinate nearly 40 percent of the food that we eat, including some $40 million of Maryland's crops.
In 2014, beekeepers in Maryland lost nearly 61 percent of their colonies. The Department of Agriculture's Apiary Program offers help and inspections to keep Maryland's bees and their hives healthy.
Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state in the nation, with 80,000 horses living on 580,000 acres, or one quarter of the State's agricultural land. There are over 16,000 equine facilities and 658 licensed stables. In 2012, the horse industry was valued at $5.6 billion and employed more than 28,000 people. Over $1 billion is spent annually on expenditures and on horse racing. The Thoroughbred is Maryland's State Horse.
The Maryland Horse Industry Board oversees and supports Maryland's horse owners and industry. The Board also offers information on horse parks, as well as history trails and horse discovery centers.
HORTICULTURE & NURSERIES
Horticulture is the second largest agricultural industry in Maryland. In 2014, farm income in the horticultural industry totaled about $960 million.
Bumblebees & a honeybee alight on a sunflower, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2014. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
Nurseries use nearly 30,000 acres of land, including nearly 500 acres of greenhouses. There are over 25,000 people employed in the horticultural industry.
Source: Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association.
In 2014, Maryland ranked eighth among states in the number of broilers, or chickens raised for their meat, with 305 million birds produced. Their production value was $990 million and 1.5 billion pounds. This amount accounted for 40 percent of Maryland's total cash farm income that year.
Turkeys brought in some $18 million.
Rooster, Annapolis, Maryland, August 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Egg production in Maryland increased in 2014 to 785 million eggs, up from 673 million in 2013, with each bird laying about 282 eggs annually. The majority of Maryland's chicken operations have fewer than 3,000 birds and these 500 "small flocks" produce about 9.6 million eggs each year, while nine operations with more than 3,000 birds produce the rest. In 2014, cash receipts for eggs totaled $70 million.
For farmers and others involved in agriculture, the University of Maryland Extension offers problem-solving resources and scientific expertise through its network of county extension offices. The Extension is a statewide education system operated by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Maryland, College Park.
Baltimore Farmers' Market, Holliday St. & Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland, August 2013. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
WINERIES & VINEYARDS
Wineries and vineyards are a fast-growing segment of Maryland's specialty agriculture. In FY 2014, wineries sold 384,498 gallons of wine and sales were approximately $29 million. The 75 wineries throughout the State offer over 420 wines.
Boordy Vineyards, Long Green Pike, Hydes, Baltimore County, Maryland, August 2014. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
There are some 858 acres of vineyards in Maryland, with over 70 percent owned by wineries.
The Governor's Advisory Commission on Maryland Wine and Grape Growing and the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Council seek to support Maryland's wineries and vineyards.
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© Copyright September 29, 2015 Maryland State Archives