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Minnesota Economy

Agriculture

Minnesota is a leading state in annual farm income. It ranks at #5 among the states, generating about 4% of the nation's total agricultural receipts.

In terms of revenue generated Minnesota's top five agricultural products are corn for grain, hogs, soybeans, dairy products, and and cattle and calves.

Livestock

Livestock and livestock products account for about half of the state's farm income. Minnesota's most valuable livestock products are hogs, accounting for 18% of the state's total agricultural revenues. Minnesota is a leading (#3) hog-producing state.

Dairy products and cattle and calves are also very important sources of revenue in the state. Minnesota is a leading milk-producing state, most of which is converted into butter and cheese.

Turkeys and chicken eggs complete the list of the top five livestock products of Minnesota. Minnesota is also a leading producer of eggs and turkeys.

Crops

Corn is the state's most valuable crop followed by soybeans and again, Minnesota is a leading producer.

Farmers also grow hay, sugar beets, wheat, barley, flaxseed and oats.

The leading vegetable crops are peas, potatoes and sweet corn.

Minnesota's leading fruit crops are apples.

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Manufacturing

Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

Computer and electronic products (medical devices, computer components, communications equipment) are the primary manufactured products of Minnesota.

Food products rank second. Minnesota is a leading meatpacking state and a leading producer of flour, processed into cake mixes and breakfast cereals. Among the leading milk, butter and cheese production states, Minnesota is also a top producer of frozen and canned vegetables.

The manufacture of machinery (agricultural machinery, metalworking, heating and cooling, machines for making microchips) ranks third in the manufacturing sector.

Other manufactured products in the state include weapons and ammunition, cans, stampings, paper products (adhesive tape), printed materials (commercial print shops, newspaper and book publishers), transportation equipment (automobiles, trucks, buses), aircraft parts and wood products (plywood).

Mining

Most of Minnesota's mining income comes from iron ore. Minnesota leads the other states in the production of iron ore.

Quarries in Minnesota provide high quality granite.

Other mined products are limestone, sand and gravel and peat.

Fishing

Commercial and recreational fishing contributes to the economy and the Mississippi river provides buffalo fish, carp, catfish, whitefish and yellow perch while Lake superior provides lake herring, smelt, walleye and yellow pike.

Services

The most important community, business, and personal services include private health care, computer programming and data processing, legal services and automobile repair.

Ranking second in the services sector are finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Wholesale (automobiles, farm products, groceries) and retail (discount stores, food stores, restaurants) trade rank third among the service industries.

Sources

Gordon L. Levine and William E. Lass, "Minnesota," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/363640, August 15, 2001.

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

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