Agriculture Profile

Agriculture

In 2012, Mitchell County had 286 farms occupying 19,322 acres (13.6%) of the County’s land area. Mitchell County was also the 6th largest producer of cut Christmas trees out of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Source: USDA Census of Agriculture, 2012

Mitchell County Ag Extension Service

140,000

% of acres that make up Mitchell County

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 Profile, source: USDA Census of Agriculture 2012
Number of Farms 286
Land in Farms 19,322 acres
Average Size of Farm 68 acres
Market Value of Products Sold $2,489,000
Average Per Farm $8,703
MARKET VALUE OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS SOLD ($1,000)
Total value of agricultural products sold $2,489
Value of crops including nursery and greenhouse $2,001
Value of livestock, poultry, and their products $488
VALUE OF SALES BY COMMODITY GROUP ($1,000)
Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas 36
Tobacco 42
Cotton and cottonseed
Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 148
Fruits, tree nuts, and berries 242
Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod 391
Cut Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops 862
Other crops and hay 280
Poultry and eggs 5
Cattle and calves 400
Milk from cows (D)
Hogs and pigs (D)
Sheep, goats, wool, mohair, and milk 50
Horses, ponies, mules, burros, and donkeys 8
Aquaculture
Other animals and other animal products 4
TOP CROP ITEMS (acres)
Forage-land used for all hay and haylage, grass silage, and greenchop 1,773
Forage-land used for all hay and haylage, grass silage, and greenchop 1,011
Nursery stock crops 121
Apples 55
Vegetables harvested, all 52
TOP LIVESTOCK INVENTORY ITEMS (number)
Cattle and calves 1,484
Layers 559
Goats, all 357
Horses and ponies 252
Broilers and other meat-type chickens 156