The Texas Economy
Among the states, Texas is ranked #1 for total livestock and livestock product receipts. It's ranked #2 for total agricultural receipts, behind California.
In terms of revenue generated, Texas's top five agricultural products are beef cattle and calves, cotton, broilers (young chickens), greenhouse and nursery products, and diary products.
The largest source of agricultural revenue in Texas comes from the sale of beef cattle. Texas produces about 20% of the nation's beef cattle and ranks #1 in the country in the value of cattle raised.
Other important livestock products include broilers (young chickens) and dairy products, followed by chicken eggs and hogs.
Sheep and lambs and turkeys are also commercially raised in Texas. Texas raises more sheep and produces more mohair from angora goats than any other state.
Cotton is Texas' most valuable crop, generating 9% of the state's total agriculutural receipts and 29% of the nation's cotton revenues. Texas is the nation's #1 cotton-producer. The state named cotton their official state fiber/fabric in 1997.
Other important products in this category are greenhouse and nursery products, corn for grain, hay (#3 among the states), and wheat. Texas is a leading (#3) producer of greenhouse and nursery products (flowers, ornamental shrubs, young trees).
Other major field crops in Texas are sorghum grain (#2 among the states), peanuts, rice (#5 among the states), and cane for sugar.
The leading fruits produced in Texas are watermelons, grapefruits (official state fruit) and cantaloupes.
Important Texas vegetables include onions (official state vegetable), potatoes, and cabbages. Texas is the #1 producer of cabbages among the states.
Texas is also a leading producer of pecans (official health nut).
Mushrooms are also grown commercially in Texas.
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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.
Texas is a leading manufacturing state. Ranking first in the manufacturing arena is the manufacture of computers and electronic equipment (computers, electronic components, military communication systems).
The manufacture of chemicals is ranked second in the state. Texas leads the states in this sector, producing benzene, ethylene, fertilizers, propylene and sulfuric acid.
Ranking third is the food processing sector with beverages the majority products. Beer, soft drinks, baked goods, preserved fruits and vegetables and meat are important processed products.
Texas leads the states in the total value of its mined products, producing large quantities of oil and natural gas.
The state is responsible for about 1/5 of the country's oil production and almost 1/3 of the nation's supply of natural gas.
Texas is also a leader in the production of cement, crushed stone, lime, salt and sand and gravel.
Texas' fishing industry is thriving. Its shrimp catch is one of the largest in the country
It also hauls in black drum, crabs, flounder, oysters, red snapper, red drum and sea trout.
Farm-raised catfish are produced in the state as well.
The biggest service industry in Texas is the community, business and personal services group. Industries in this group include private health care, hotels and motels, law firms, engineering companies and repair shops. As might be expected in a leading petroleum producing state, engineering firms that service oil and natural gas companies are the source of a great deal of this income.
Ranking second in Texas is the wholesale trade (food products, motor vehicles, petroleum products) and retail trade (department stores, grocery stores, service stations) group.
The finance, insurance and real estate services group ranks third in the state. Houston and Dallas are the major financial centers of Texas. Dallas also serves as home to many large insurance companies.
Clifford L. Egan and William E. Doolittle, "Texas," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/552660, August 15, 2001.
U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Texas State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ag_Overview/AgOverview_TX.pdf> (12 January 2006)