With estimated farm marketings of $408 million ($348 million from livestock and poultry), West Virginia ranked 46th among the 50 states in 2002. Poultry, meat animals, and dairy dominate the farm economy in the Mountain State.
Until about 1890 small, diversified farms were dominant, but, as in other states, farms have grown larger and the farm population has dropped. In 2002, the state had 3,600,000 acres (1,457,000 hectares), or 23% of its land, devoted to farming. Its 20,500 farms averaged 176 acres (71 hectares) in size. Major farm sections are the eastern panhandle, a tier of counties along the Virginia border, the upper Monongahela Valley, and the Ohio Valley. Leading crops produced in 2002 were hay, 1,061,000 tons; corn for grain, 3,150,000 bushels; corn for silage, 314,000 tons; commercial apples, 105,000,000 lb; and tobacco, 1,950,000 lb.