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West Virginia Economy

Agriculture

About 82% of West Virginia's total agricultural production is in livestock products. 18% is in crops.

In terms of revenue generated West Virginia's top five agricultural products are broilers (young chickens), cattle and calves, chicken eggs, dairy products, and turkeys.

Livestock

Broilers (young chickens) are the state's #1 agricultural commodity, generating about 37% of West Virginia's total agricultural receipts.

Beef cattle and calves produce about 21% of the state's total agricultural receipts.

Chicken eggs, dairy products, and turkeys are other major livestock products produced by the State of West Virginia.

Sheep and lambs, hogs, farm chickens, honey, farm raised fish, and wool are also produced in West Virginia.

Crops

Hay, grown to feed the state's livestock, is the #1 crop, providing 2% of West Virginia's total agricultural receipts.

Other major crops of West Virginia are apples, corn for grain, soybeans and tobacco.

Peaches and wheat are also grown in the state.

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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.

Chemicals (adhesives, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics are West Virginia's most valuable manufactured product.

Primary metals (tin plate, sheet steel, structural steel, aluminum) rank second.

Lumber production is the state's third-ranking manufacturing activity.

Mining

Coal is West Virginia's most important mined product and the state leads is among the country's leaders in coal production. About 75% of West Virginia's mining income is derived from coal.

Other important mined products are natural gas, accounting for about 20% of the state's mining income, petroleum, crushed stone, salt and sand and gravel.

Services

The community, business and personal services group accounts for the largest share of gross product in the services industry. These services are provided by private health care, law firms, repair shops and hotels. Tourist activities such as skiing and white-water rafting bring millions of dollars into the state. A growing information technology sector also contributes to this service group.

Ranking second is the wholesale trade (groceries, coal) and retail trade (department stores, food stores, service stations) services group.

The government services group ranks third in the services industry and includes operation of public schools and hospitals.

Sources

WORLDBOOKSOURCE

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

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