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North Carolina Economy

Agriculture

In the agricultural sector, livestock products and crops each contribute about 50% of North Carolina's agricultural income.

In terms of revenue generated North Carolina's top five agricultural products are hogs, broilers (young chickens), greenhouse and nursery products, tobacco, and turkeys.

Livestock

Hogs are the most important livestock product raised in the state, followed by broilers (5-12 week-old chickens).

North Carolina farmers also raise turkeys.

North Carolina ranks among the leading states in the production of hogs (#2), broilers (#4) and turkeys (#2).

Other livestock products are milk, beef cattle, eggs and ducks.

Crops

Greenhouse and nursery products lead the way in crop agriculture but, tobacco is the state's leading field crop followed by cotton.

Soybeans and corn for grain are also important crops.

North Carolina is a leading peanut and sweet potato production state.

Apples are the biggest fruit crop but blueberries, peaches and strawberries are also important.

North Carolina also produces hay and wheat.

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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.

Tobacco products (cigarettes, pipe and chewing tobacco) are North Carolina's leading products in the manufacturing industry. The state produces more tobacco products than any other state.

Chemicals (Pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, synthetic fibers) are North Carolina's second most important manufactured products.

Third-ranked are computer and electronic products that include communication equipment and computer components.

Mining

Crushed stone, mostly granite, is the state's most valuable mined product followed by traprock and limestone.

Other important mined products are phosphate rock (for fertilizer), sand and gravel and lithium (for making aluminum, glass).

A leading producer of feldspar, mica and pyrophyllite, North Carolina also produces some quantities of clay, granite, marble, olivine and talc.

Fishing

North Carolina's most valuable fish/shellfish products are blue crabs, clams, flounder and shrimp.

Aquaculture is strong in the state, producing catfish, crayfish, Atlantic menhaden and trout "on the farm".

Services

Concentrated in metropolitan areas of the state, finance, insurance and real estate make up North Carolina's leading service industry group. The state's growing population has supported growth in real estate businesses and the state's growing reputation as a commercial center. Large banking companies have moved into Charlotte, making the city one of the nations important financial centers.

Community, business and personal services are the second-ranking service group in the state. This group includes private health care, private schools, research facilities, motels, law firms and repair shops. North Carolina is home to leading research facilities focusing on medicine, electronic and other specialized fields.

Wholesale trade (automobiles, building materials, groceries, tobacco) and retail trade (department stores, food stores, service stations) comprise North Carolina's third-ranking service industry.

Sources

Stephen S. Birdsall and Harry L. Watson, "North Carolina," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/394160, August 15, 2001.

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

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