Animals

Discover Indiana’s Top 7 Most Valuable Crops

Indiana is the eighth-largest farming state in the nation, therefore its most valued crops have a huge influence. The state is home to about 57,000 farming businesses, and Indiana is usually at the forefront of the “corn state” controversy. The Hoosier state’s agriculture sector brings approximately $35 billion annually.

It makes sense—there are 11.8 million acres to be harvested each season. Indiana imported 947.7 bushels of corn, 335.2 million bushels of soybeans, 19.4 million bushels of wheat, and 1.59 million tons of hay in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Even though it seems like a huge sum coming from just one state, most of the figures are less than what would be collected in 2021. The USDA gathers vast amounts of data on the agriculture sector, with the numbers often extending back to the mid-to late-1990s and broken down for each state or county.

The Ten Most Valuable Crops in Indiana

Several of the crops on this list might surprise you, mostly because it’s hard to think of them as belonging in Indiana. Others are evident, despite the startling statistics. They are, of course, only astounding to the ignorant. Millions and even billions become less meaningful terms when you spend enough time studying the agriculture sector.

1. Corn

31% of Indiana’s agricultural output is corn. The crop ranked number two on our list is the only other crop in the same stratosphere. More over $3 billion of the state’s total agricultural sales are attributed to corn. It’s challenging to travel through Indiana without coming across a cornfield, particularly if you’re not in one of the state’s cities. There will be grain if it’s rural.

2. Soybeans

Corn is closely followed by soybeans. The production and sales percentages sharply decline after soybeans. In the state, soybeans occupy around 6 million acres of farmland, with annual sales of over $3 billion. Indiana yielded 324 million bushels of soybeans in 2022.

3. Hay

Although Indiana isn’t among the top five states in the nation for hay sales and production, the state nonetheless produces a sizable amount of the crop. At sales of around $288 million annually, hay ranks third among Indiana’s most valuable crops. Indiana harvested 260,000 acres of alfalfa and 520,000 acres of hay in 2022.

4. Wheat

Among the most valued crops grown in Indiana, wheat ranks fourth, with six varieties produced there. Even while it’s not quite as important as maize and soybeans, it’s still a significant export and commodity in the state. Durum wheat, hard red winter wheat, hard red spring wheat, soft white wheat, and hard white wheat are all produced in Indiana.

5. Melons

If you want to be the nation’s top producer of melons, you have to head southeast, to Florida. On the other hand, Indiana produces just as much melon as any other state, bringing in $71,515,000 annually from just 7,000 acres. Numerous statistical categories include both standard and watermelons, particularly the USDA figures for the state each season.

6. Pumpkins

In terms of total pounds produced in 2021, Indiana ranked second, despite the fact that pumpkins are not among the state’s most lucrative crops. Although Illinois came out ahead of Indiana, that’s still quite good considering that crop only ranks sixth on the list. It’s possible that the pumpkin you purchase to carve this year is from Indiana. It’s never certain. Each year, Indiana and five other states produce about 40% of the pumpkins consumed in the country.

7. Mint

People often don’t link this particular crop with Indiana. Indiana is typically associated with maize and possibly soybeans.Mint is obviously not on the list unless you happen to be a state grower. Production of mint includes peppermint and spearmint oils, making it the seventh most valued crop in Indiana. Mint exports and sales contribute in around $4 million for the state annually.

Additional Crops in Indiana

The remaining Indiana crops, once you get past mint, fall into different categories and are essentially unimportant when it comes to the USDA’s numbers. Some pages don’t even include a list of them. To extract greater value from Indiana’s agriculture sector, look beyond crops.

In terms of agriculture, Indiana also produces a sizable quantity of bedding plants, herbs, flowers, foliage plants, and cut flowers. Rather than being measured in terms of sales and exports, the majority of these are merely noteworthy since they don’t represent products that Americans often eat.

Non-Crops In Indiana

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) reports that 15% of the state’s agricultural industry’s sales are comprised of meat products. Dairy plays the role of the rearguard at 7%, with poultry and eggs coming in second at 11%. In Indiana, there are approximately 3,000 hog farmers who account for $1.63 billion in annual sales.

Together with poultry sales, Indiana’s 9.5 billion eggs produced in 2021 brought in $1.18 billion. Although the production of meat ranks third in the state, a sizable portion of the industry’s annual earnings come from the production of eggs and poultry.

Despite accounting for only 7% of Indiana’s total agricultural production annually, dairy ranks fifth in terms of size. Approximately 179,000 cows are raised in Indiana on 900 dairy farms, producing 4 billion pounds of milk annually.

Overview of Indiana’s Top 7 Most Valuable Crops

Crop Sales
Corn $6,481,755,000
Soybeans $4,860,763,000
Hay $283,400,000
Wheat $157,464,000
Melons $71,515,000
Pumpkins $29,942,000
Mints $3,960,000