Thanks to Kay McDonald for writing about a report from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. They concluded that agricultural production is more important there than in any other state, amounting to 11.9% of their gross state product. For Florida, they say that agricultural production is only 0.6%(!) of the state’s domestic product (p. 41). (Throwing in “food manufacturing” would still bring it up to only 1.38% of the Florida economy.)
One of my themes is that Florida agricultural interests use water, create water pollution, and have an influence in water decisions far out of proportion to their economic importance. Florida farm jobs and farm output are very significant to those in the industry (and for water problems) but not so much in relation to the total Florida economy. That is why our South Dakota agricultural friends can whoop it up about their relative importance.