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Alaska Economy

Agriculture

There are only about 500 farms in Alaska, most clustered in the 880,000 acre Matanuska Valley northeast of Anchorage.

In terms of revenue generated, Alaska's top five agricultural products are greenhouse and nursery products, hay, dairy products, potatoes, and cattle and calves.

Livestock

The most valuable livestock commodity produced in Alaska is milk, followed by eggs and beef cattle. Alaskan farmers also raise chickens, hogs, sheep, and lambs. Native Alaskan Inuit maintain herds of reindeer as a source of meat and hides.

Crops

Greenhouse and nursery products are the top agricultural revenue producers in Alaska.

Barley, hay, oats, and potatoes are prevalent field crops.

Timber, spread over 25 million acres, is also important to the state.

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Manufacturing

Food processing (fish products) is Alaska's leading manufacturing activity, in terms of value added by manufacture. Ketchikan, on Kodiak Island, is considered the center of the world's salmon-packing industry.

Petroleum products rank second.

Mining

Oil provides about 95 percent of Alaska's mining income. Other mined products are gold, zinc, silver, coal, crushed stone, lead, molybdenum, and sand and gravel.

Fishing

Alaska's fish catch is the most valuable among the 50 states. The most important commercial fishing ports are at Kodiak and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.

Large catches of cod, flounder, pollock, rockfish, sablefish, salmon, and smelt drive the industry.

Dungeness crab, king crab, scallops, sea urchins, shrimp, snow crab, and herring eggs are other important products of the fleet.

Services

Government services, public schools, public hospitals and military bases. Tourism is a major sector of Alaska's economy attracting over one million visitors annually.

Sources

Claus-M. Naske and F. Patrick Fitzgerald, "Alaska," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/010640, August 14, 2001.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Alaska State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ag_Overview/AgOverview_AK.pdf> (12 January 2006)

"Alaska." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 1 May 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9111277>.

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