Nebraska’s agriculture is the source of a diverse, abundant and affordable food supply. The products raised are representative of the ingenuity of Nebraska producers to address the varied climate and geology found in this state. Field crops, like corn and soybeans, grow particularly well in the rich, fertile farmlands of the Platte Valley, but can be found in most parts of the state. Producers also raise popcorn and grain sorghum, mostly in the south; potatoes in several areas that have pockets of sandy soil; and wheat, sugarbeets, and dry edible beans in the more arid Panhandle and southwest. While some crops depend on timely rains for success, Nebraska is fortunate to have an abundance of water. Over 8.5 million acres of Nebraska's field crops benefit from irrigation, through the nearly 24,000 miles of streams and rivers, numerous reservoirs, and vast aquifers that underlie most of the state.
The animal industry is strong in Nebraska. Cattle can be found in all of Nebraska's 93 counties, and thousands of cows and calves spend their spring and summer grazing in the rolling, lush pastures of the north central Sandhills region. Swine, dairy cattle, and poultry also are in abundance.
Nebraska agriculture doesn't stop with these traditional, Plains agriculture products. Looking for ways to diversify, Nebraska producers are venturing into other sectors. There are grapes, fruits and vegetables, Christmas trees, sheep and goats, buffalo, elk, ostrich, and fish, all grown and raised in Nebraska.
The importance of agriculture in Nebraska continues past the farm gate. The transportation, financing, warehousing, and processing of products all create additional investment in the state's economy. Taking all aspects into consideration, the economic contributions of agriculture make it the number one industry in the state. One in three Nebraskans depends on agriculture for employment, and it's the hard work and devotion of these folks that has made Nebraska a leader in national agriculture rankings.
Additional information about Nebraska’s crop and livestock production can be found here.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is responsible for general promotion of Nebraska agriculture, but also has a large regulatory role. To learn more about the various responsibilities of NDA, please click here.