Utah’s Most Valuable Export Crop Is Not For You
Fall has come and it is time for the harvest. Utahns love their farms and while our state is not as fertile as others, we are able to raise crops that can be exported. Have you ever wondered what Utah farming excels in? What is Utah’s most valuable crop?
If you said sweet corn or tomatoes, you are thinking along the right lines. Utah is known for its homegrown sweet corn and tomatoes which are sold across the state at local farmer’s markets, but that’s not the crop we make the most money on.
Actually, corn made the list at $20.4 million a year.
If you are thinking of the healthy oil of a safflower? You have just identified our sixth most valuable crop coming in at 1.6 million dollars a year.
How about grain? Well Barley was # 5 on the list and wheat made it to #2, but it wasn’t even close to our top export. If you are trying to think of it by mentally wandering down the aisles of your grocery story that might be tripping you up.
The most valuable crop in Utah is hay. “Yeah, but hay is for horses,” I hear you say. Yes, it is and we make 488.9 million dollars a year on that sweet green grass. So even though it’s not something for your table it is Utah’s number one most valuable crop.
Here is the list of our top 6 most valuable crops in Utah.
#6. Safflower – $1.6 million/year
#5. Barley – $3.6 million /year
#4. Cherries – $8.5 million /year
#3. Corn – $20.4 million /year
#2. Wheat - $32.0 million /year
#1. Hay - $488.9 million/year
So next time you drive by a hay field or smell that sweet alfalfa on the wind tip your hat to Utah’s most valuable crop.
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Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews