Maryland Manual On-Line -



  • Agriculture, by G. Terry Sharrer
  • Calendar of Maryland Harvests
  • County & State Fairs
    [photo, Baltimore Farmers' Market, Holliday St. and Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Crops
  • Dairy & Livestock
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Farm Resources
  • Farm Revenue
  • Farmers' Markets
  • Poultry
  • Baltimore Farmers' Market, Holliday St. & Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland, November 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    [photo, Barn and brick silo, Sabillasville, Frederick County, Maryland]

    Approximately 350,000 people are employed in some aspect of agriculture, making it the largest commercial industry in Maryland. Agriculture also remains the largest single land use in the State, with 2.04 million acres, or roughly 32 percent of total land area used for farming in 2007. The majority of Maryland's farmland is located in the north central part of the State and the upper Eastern Shore. In 2007, some 12,000 Maryland farms averaged 170 acres each.

    Barn and brick silo, Sabillasville, Frederick County, Maryland, July 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    In 2007, total farm expenses reached $1.2 billion, while per farm expenses averaged $100,013. Net farm income was nearly $725 million while income per farm averaged $60,408.

    Queen Anne's County, in 2007, continued to lead all other counties in corn and wheat production. Caroline County was first in its harvests of barley and vegetables, while Frederick County led in hay and milk production.

    [photo, Tractor exhibition, Cecil County Fair, Fair Hill, Maryland]


    In 2007, corn for grain averaged 103 bushels per acre. From 455,000 acres, 46.87 million bushels of corn were harvested. The soybean yield, in 2007, averaged 27 bushels per acre, with a total production of 10.26 million bushels. Winter wheat remained at 68 bushels per acre, with 11.6 million bushels harvested. Barley decreased to 84 bushels per acre, totalling 2.6 million bushels.

    Tractor pull event, Cecil County Fair, Fair Hill, Maryland, July 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    [photo, Sheep, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, Maryland]


    Milk production in 2007 was approximately 1.04 billion pounds, and the average milk production per cow was 18,017 pounds. The number of milk cows in 2007 was 58,000. The total number of cattle and calves as of Jan. 1, 2008 was 205,000. Cash receipts for cattle decreased to $81.0 million in 2007.

    Sheep, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, Maryland, May 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    Frederick County leads the State in milk production - its dairy herds account for 25 percent of the State's total.

    In 2007, cash receipts for market hogs were $7.3 million, up from $6.92 million in 2006. The total number of hogs and pigs reached 31,000 in 2007.

    Cash receipts for lamb and sheep were $1.13 million in 2007, and the number of sheep on Maryland farms totaled approximately 24,000.

    [photo, Rooster, Annapolis, Maryland] POULTRY

    Maryland ranks seventh among states in the number of broilers produced and ninth in pounds produced. Maryland also ranks seventh in the nation for the value of production of broiler chickens in 2007.

    In 2007, nearly 295 million broiler chickens were produced. They brought in $732 million in revenue. This amount accounted for nearly 37 percent of Maryland's agricultural cash receipts that year.

    Rooster, Annapolis, Maryland, August 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    For turkeys, 750,000 birds were raised in 2007, valued at $13.6 million. This was an increase from 2006 when 730,000 birds were raised at a value of $12.5 million.


    For farmers and others involved in agriculture, the Maryland Cooperative Extension offers problem-solving resources and scientific expertise through its network of county extension offices. The Extension is a statewide education system operated by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Maryland, College Park.

    The Department of Agriculture is responsible for marketing, animal industries, and consumer services; plant industries and pest management; and resource conservation. Data relating to the production and marketing of agricultural products, agriculture prices and income, and other statistics pertinent to agriculture and agribusiness is compiled and published by the Maryland Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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     Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

    July 1, 2009   
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