Nevada is not located in the Agricultural Core of the United States. However, it still has a large and thriving agriculture sector, enough to merit a state department of agriculture. The majority of Nevada’s agriculture is livestock, with a concentration in cattle and sheep. The highest concentration of cattle is in the northern part of the state. Cow-calf operations are most common, and Elko county ranks second among all counties in the nation in number of beef cows.
Northern Nevada is also home to the vast majority of the sheep.
Dairying is a growing industry in the state, as is the manufacture of dairy products. The dairies are concentrated relatively near the large market centers of Reno and Las Vegas. Horses are big business in Nevada, both for work and pleasure. Swine production is limited and most producers market locally. Alternative livestock enterprises, including emu and llama, are becoming more common.
Nevada’s high desert climate is very well suited to the production of high quality alfalfa hay, which accounts for over half of the total value of crops produced in the state. Much of the alfalfa is marketed to dairies in California and a significant quantity is exported overseas. A variety of other high value crops are gaining in importance to Nevada agriculture. Potatoes, onions, garlic, and alfalfa seed contribute greatly to the total value of production and grain production is rebounding following the end of the drought.
Alfalfa field in Nye County, Nevada.Information from http://agri.state.nv.us/ http://nvfb.fb.org/nevag.htm
Images from Google.