50 State Agricultural Rankings

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The tables below offer information about Colorado agriculture from the general agricultural groups to the more specific commodities or products. The ranking assigned to a given commodity is based on the commodity's cash receipts; how much money it made.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004

As you can see from the table below, Colorado ranks 16th among the states for total agricultural production. Thanks to a strong cattle industry, Colorado ranks among the top ten states in the production of livestock and livestock products.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004
Product Group Value ($1,000) % State total State rank
All commodities 5,501,155 100.0% 16
Livestock and products 4,156,153 75.6% 10
Crops 1,345,001 24.4% 28
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Colorado's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004

This table lists Colorado's top commodities in each of Colorado's two agriculutural groups, livestock and crops.

Colorado's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004
Livestock products % State total Crop products % State total
Cattle and calves 60.8% Corn for grain 5.2%
Dairy products 6.2% Greenhouse/nursery 5.0%
Hogs 3.7% Wheat 3.4%
Sheep and lambs 2.0% Hay 3.0%
Chicken eggs 1.1% Potatoes 1.9%
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

By far, cattle and calves are the most important commodities to the state of Colorado. Over 60% of the state's total agricultural receipts are provided by cattle and calves. Dairy products are also an important Colorado product, with the production of hogs, sheep and lambs, and eggs contributing.

The most important commodities within the crop group are corn for grain and greenhouse and nursery products. Wheat and hay are also important. Potatoes complete the list of Colorado's top five crops.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004

This table offers a more complete view of the most important agricultural products of Colorado.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004
Product Value ($1,000) % State Value
1. Cattle and calves 3,342,808 60.8%
2. Dairy products 343,281 6.2%
3. Corn for grain 285,378 5.2%
4. Greenhouse/nursery 276,427 5.0%
5. Hogs 206,057 3.7%
6. Wheat 185,948 3.4%
7. Hay 163,748 3.0%
8. Sheep and lambs 111,126 2.0%
9. Potatoes 102,115 1.9%
10. Chicken eggs 60,103 1.1%
11. Onions 57,299 1.0%
12. Dry beans 26,469 0.5%
13. Barley 25,421 0.5%
14. Sugar beets 24,730 0.4%
15. Corn, sweet 16,322 0.3%
16. Sunflower 16,309 0.3%
17. Cabbage 15,365 0.3%
18. Millet,proso 14,621 0.3%
19. Peaches 11,328 0.2%
20. Carrots 11,138 0.2%
21. Sorghum grain 9,383 0.2%
22. Lettuce 8,800 0.2%
23. Apples 4,154 0.1%
24. Cantaloups 3,944 0.1%
Mushrooms *    
* Commodities at the bottom of the above ranked list of commodities and having no accompanying data would have appeared within the ranked list of leading commodities, but were excluded to avoid disclosure of confidential information about individual producers.
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Mushrooms are among the top 25 commodities produced in Colorado but, because specific data are not available, it is not known how they rank among the others.

The 2004 table above contains information about Colorado agricultural production provided by the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture.

The first column of the table lists the product (commodity).

The second column of the table lists a number representing the dollar value of the product. This number is not the dollar value of the product. This number represents the dollar value of the product in thousands of dollars. For example, the number listed for the value of cattle and calves produced in Colorado is 3,342,808. This number represents a dollar value of $3,342,808,000 (3,342,808 x 1,000): three billion, three hundred and forty-two million, eight hundred and eight thousand dollars.

The third column of the table lists the percent (part) of the total agricultural value produced in Colorado. For example, cattle and calves account for 60.8% of Colorado's total agricultural production value. The dollars generated by the production of cattle and calves add up to over 3/5 of Colorado's total agricultural production.

National ranking highlights - 2004

  • Ranks first in production of proso millet (44% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of sheep and lambs (22% of U.S. production).

Colorado farms and farmland - 2004

Because of different rounding methods (e.g., farm acres given by the National Argriculture Statistics Service), percentage of farmland per state should be considered a rough estimate.

Colorado farms and farmland - 2004
Number of farms Total farm acres Percent of state Average farm size (acres)
30,900 30,900,000 46% 1,000
Source: USDA:National Agriculture Statistics Service

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