Mitchell County Agriculture Profile

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108,000 Acres

of Woodlands

5,000 Acres

of Cropland

22,000 Acres

of Pasture and Hay Land

Mitchell County is a rural county located in the northern mountains of western North Carolina on the Tennessee state line. The 140 thousand acres is composed of 108,000 acres in woodlands, 5,000 acres in cropland, 22,000 acres in pasture and hay land, and approximately 5,000 acres in streams and towns. Average elevation is 3,000 feet, and ranges from 1,700-6,313 feet above sea level.

The Christmas tree industry began in Mitchell County during the late 1950's and early 1960's. There has been continual growth in Christmas tree production throughout the past 40 years. Following the 1995 harvest season Christmas trees became the number one cash crop in Mitchell County replacing Burley tobacco. Currently there are over 200 producers growing Christmas trees on over 1300 acres of land. Farm size ranges from less than one acre to over 100 acres. Presently the industry is approaching 6.1 million dollars in sales plus the ripple effect of employment and money spent within the county.

Other commodities of importance include Burley tobacco, landscape ornamentals, beef cattle, hay, apples, trout, and medicinal herbs. For more information on the number of farms, acres, or production figures the NCDA and CS has 2010 census information available for North Carolina Counties on their website at http://www.agr.state.nc.us/stats


Mitchell County Agricultural Statistics Highlights from 2007-2010
Number of Farms 314
Mitchell County Land Area 141,713 acres
Land in Farms 22,787 acres
Average size of Farm 73 acres
Precent of Land in Farms 16%
Average Annual Precipitation 57 inches
Annual Mean Temperature 51 degrees (F)
Estimate Market Value of Land and Buildings
      Average per Farm
      Average per Acre
 
$369,209 $5,088
Estimated Market Value of all Machinery and Equipment
      Average per Farm
 
$40,580
Farm by Size
      1-9 acres
      10-49 acres
      50-179 acres
      180-499 acres
      500-499 acres
      1000 acres or more
53
117
115
24
5
0
Farms by Value of Sales:
Less than $ 2,500
$ 2,500 - $ 4,999
$ 5,000 - $ 9,999
$10,000 - $24,999
$25,000 - $49,999
$50,000 - $99,000
$100,000 or more
146
41
52
40
24
6
5

Net Cash Farm Income of Operation

Average per Farm
314 farms
$11,000,000
$35,000
Top Income Producing Commodities
Farm forestry $7,816,562
Livestock $952,523
Greenhouse and Nursery $2,760,000
Burley Tobacco $100,000
Hay and other crops $154,000
Fruits and Vegetables $330,000
Corn $19,000
Potatoes $150,000
Non-farm forestry $1,022,271
Farm Labor
Hired farm labor 57 Farms
Workers 217
$1,000 payroll 495
Farms with:
1 worker 20
2 workers 12
3 or 4 workers 12
5 to 9 workers 10
10 or more Workers 3
Workers by days worked
150 days or more 6 Farms
23 Workers
Less than 150 Days 56 Farms
194 Workers

Migrant farm labor on farms with hired labor
Migrant labor on farms reporting only contract labor
11 Farms
6 Farms