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Ruth Correll: Agricultural Literacy Week’s upcoming

dfox • Nov 11, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Everyone is impacted by agriculture even if not involved in agriculture. Agriculture is… our food, supplies the products for our homes and many of the fibers used to produce our clothing. Agriculture supplies the products to make our paper and many of the products used to make our medicines. Agriculture impacts our lives in very important ways.

According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, “Agriculture and forestry have a profound impact on Tennessee’s economy, the health of our citizens, the beauty of our landscape, as well as the quality of our lives. In hundreds of rural communities across our state, agriculture and forestry are the primary drivers of local economic activity. Agriculture and forestry’s impact is also felt throughout the manufacturing, processing, distribution and marketing sectors of our economy.”

Thanks to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Farm Bureau for the following agricultural facts. I hope there are some of those “I didn’t know that” moments as you read through these.

• Nearly 2 million people, or about 2 percent of the population, farm or ranch in the United States, however, more than 15 percent are employed in farm-related jobs including processing, marketing and sales. 

• In the 1960s, one farmer supplied 25.8 persons in the U.S and abroad. Today, one farmer supplies food for 143 people. 

• In the 1930s, a farmer could harvest an average of 100 bushels of corn by hand in a nine-hour day. Today’s combines can harvest 900 bushels of corn per hour or 100 bushels of corn in less than seven minutes. 

• Over 40 percent of Tennessee’s land area is in farmland, with cropland accounting for more than 60 percent of farmland. 

• There are 79,000 farms in Tennessee, averaging 138 acres in size 

• Agriculture’s impact on the Tennessee’s economy is estimated at $44 billion annually, providing more than 300,000 jobs. 

• Cattle and calves are the largest generator of farm income in Tennessee

• Tennessee’s top valued crops include soybeans, corn, cotton, tobacco and hay. Other high valued crops include tomatoes and wheat 

• Poultry is one of the fastest growing segments of Tennessee’s agricultural economy with a 142 percent increase in broiler production within the last 10 years. 

• Tennessee leads the nation in the production of hardwood flooring and is one of the nation’s leading exporters of hardwood lumber. 

• There are more than 21,000 students enrolled in high school agriculture education programs in Tennessee, preparing for careers in farming, agricultural marketing, communications, education, sales and other services.

• The University of Tennessee was the first southern land grant institution designated in 1867 for the purpose of fostering agricultural research and education. 

• Tennessee has the largest 4-H Club membership in the nation with more than 186,000 members. 

Agricultural Market Summary

Cattle Market Trends

A drop in the futures market could mean a softer market as lots of calves are currently being marketed. Stocker operators continue to look for quality calves. Feeder steers, steady to $3 higher, $140-$265; Feeder heifers, $1 to $3 lower, $100-$225; Slaughter cows, steady to $2 higher, $61-$85; Slaughter bulls, $5 to $8 lower, $94-$120.

Grain Market Trends

Corn, and soybeans were down; wheat was up for the week. Corn – Cash price, $3.47-4.05. December futures closed at $3.73 a bushel, down 9 cents. Soybeans – Cash price, $8.49-$9.09.January futures closed at $8.67 a bushel, down 18 cents. Wheat – No cash prices reported. December futures closed at $5.23 a bushel, up 1 cent.

For additional information on these and other topics, contact the UT Extension Office, 925 East Baddour Parkway, Lebanon, TN 37087, 615-444-9584 or [email protected].  UT Extension provides equal opportunities in all programs. Visit the UT/TSU Extension webpage at utextension.tennessee.edu/wilson or look for UT & TSU Extension, Wilson County on Facebook.

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