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Agriculture

Two-thirds of Alexander County is farmland, with the average farm being 88 acres. Average yearly farm income is approximately 97 million dollars, mostly derived from poultry, dairy, beef cattle, orchard fruits, tobacco, forestry products, and grain crops. Alexander County ranks second in the state in poultry, third in apples, fourth in dairy, and fifteenth in beef cattle.

Alexander County is a major poultry producing county ranking second in the state in total birds produced. Alexander County produced 1,600,000 hens, 15,000,000 broilers and over 13,720,000 dozen hatching eggs in 2004. According to 2005 farm income estimates, the poultry industry contributed approximately 73 million dollars to our Alexander County economy with over 180 farm families making their living in the farm production of poultry.

Alexander County currently ranks fourth in North Carolina in number of dairy cows. According to the 2005 farm income estimates, the dairy industry contributed approximately 8 million dollars to our Alexander County economy with approximately 20 dairy farm families making their living from the dairy industry.

Alexander County is also a large factor in beef cattle production in North Carolina. Most beef cattle farms in Alexander County are cow-calf operations made up of predominately commercial grade cattle. According to the latest farm income estimates, beef cattle contributed over five million dollars to our economy in 2005.

Alexander County ranks third in the state in apple production. The county currently has approximately 300 acres in production with the potential of producing 240,000 bushels of apples. Gross yearly receipts average around 2.4 million dollars. A wide variety of apples are produced, including older varieties such as Limbertwig, and Golden and Red Delicious to new varieties including Pink Lady, Honey Crisp and Gala.

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