Texas Agriculture April 1, 2016 : Page 20

Agriculture thrives, evolves within DFW metroplex By Shala Watson Public Relations Intern Dallas is known for its big city lights and high rise buildings. But a recent study shows farms and farm-land in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro-plex increased by nearly 10 percent from 2007 to 2012. “Agriculture is alive and well in the DFW metroplex, looking at the eight counties that surround the cit-ies of Dallas and Fort Worth. The metroplex isn’t just Dallas and Tar-rant County. Now it includes Den-ton, Collin, Tarrant, Dallas, Rock-wall, Kaufman, Johnson and Ellis counties,” Dr. Blake Bennett, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension economist in Dallas said in an interview with Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network. These eight counties comprise 910,000 acres of agricultural land— 830,000 in crops and 80,000 acres in pasture. More than 20 diverse crops are grown in the metroplex. The number of small farms in this eight-county region is the largest ag-ricultural segment of growth in the metroplex. “Our biggest increase came from the 10-50 acre operations. It does go beyond that, though. I am happy to say we saw increases in all size cat-egories across the board,” Bennett said. “So it just points to that even though you think of concrete when-ever you think of Dallas-Fort Worth, we do have a number of farms that are coming on board.” These patterns show that produc-tion agriculture is alive and healthy in the DFW metroplex. The climate, rainfall and proxim-ity to population contribute to the area’s agricultural success. “The blackland soil here, as ev-eryone knows, is higher in nutrients and it definitely can hold on to the water, can hold on to the nutrients, so they don’t leach out of the soil like you find in some of the sandier con-ditions,” Bennett said. “So that does help promote some of the traditional crops, as well as some of the non-tra-ditional that we see.” Wheat, corn, grain sorghum, hay, and ensilage are the main crops for the region. But nurs-ery and greenhouse also plays a major role, generating about $296.9 million. Bennett said it makes up about 19 percent of the state’s total. Proximity of large farms to metropolitan areas allows metropolitans to enjoy wine-making tours, pumpkin patch-es, hay rides, corn mazes and other types of agritourism. The study estimates the an-nual average impact of DFW metroplex’s crop production from 2010 to 2013 on the re-Small farms are the largest growing agricultural segment in the metroplex. Photo gional economy was $1.03 bil-by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service lion. Cattle in the DFW area also fect,” Bennett said. also shows the community wants makes a large economic impact with Bennett said the information in to maintain agriculture, because 3 percent of the state’s total at $145 this study can be used for the benefit there’s just something special about million just from cow-calf and stock-of agriculture. that way of life, how slow it is and er operations alone. There are about “Agriculture is still a vibrant the simplicity of it. They like know-203,000 cattle in the region and part of our community. I think it ing it is there,” Bennett said. 50,000 beef cows. Agribusiness firms within the eight-county area also add much to FOR the overall economic input from ag-72 months On All Gator Utility Vehicles riculture. NEW GATOR XUV590i “Now going beyond the farm gate , 45 mph (72 km/h) • 32 hp* whenever we get into agribusiness, • 4-wheel independent suspension HAMILTON about 210,000 people are employed • 65 AMP alternator • Optional power steering LAWSON IMPLEMENT in agribusiness in the DFW metro-Starting at $ 9,799 COMPANY plex. They have an annual payroll of 800-658-6807 THE GREAT OUTDOORS about $10.28 billion,” Bennett said. JUS ST GOT GREATER. Goldthwaite 800-548-7865 GO GATOR. G O ™ He noted wholesale trade is the biggest player, employing nearly MARBLE FALLS 88,000 total workers with an annual MUSTANG EQUIPMENT payroll of $6.17 billion. 830-693-5414 “They’re the biggest player that mustangequipment.com GAT GATOR ATOR XUV560 XUV560 S4 XUV825i SPECIAL EDITION we have out there and we’re look-• Fully independent suspension • Integrated cargo toolboxes • 2-and 4-passenger options available • LED lighting ing at about an $11 to $12 billion TAYLOR STARTING AT $ 9,739 § COUFAL-PRATER EQUIP industry each year in the DFW me-LIMITED troplex,” Bennett said. 979-822-7684 Farmers and ranchers are also cptractor.com spending dollars in the metroplex, benefiting the local economy. Offer ends May 2, 2016. Subject to approved installment credit with John Deere Financial, for commercial use only. Up to a 10% down payment may be required. Example: Based on an MSRP purchase of $9,799 with a 10% down payment of $979.90, monthly payment of $137.60 at 3.9% APR for 72 months. Price not as “They buy chemicals. They go out shown. Taxes, freight, setup and delivery charges could increase monthly payment. Other special rates and WHUPVPD\EHDYDLODEOH&#0f;LQFOXGLQJƟQDQFLQJIRUFRQVXPHUXVH$YDLODEOHDWSDUWLFLSDWLQJGHDOHUV Prices and models may vary by dealer. Manufacturer suggested list price of $9,799 on new Gator XUV590i and see movies with their families and $9,739 on Gator XUV560 S4. Prices are suggested retail prices only and are subject to change without notice at any time. Dealer may sell for less. Shown with optional equipment not included in the price. and go to restaurants. So you see the Attachments and implements sold separately. Some restrictions apply; other special rates and terms may EHDYDLODEOH&#0f;VRVHH\RXUGHDOHUIRUGHWDLOVDQGRWKHUƟQDQFLQJRSWLRQV$YDLODEOHDWSDUWLFLSDWLQJGHDOHUV Before operating or riding, always refer to the safety and operating information on the vehicle and in the dollars turn over and over again in operator’s manual. 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Agriculture Thrives, Evolves within DFW Metroplex

Shala Watson

Dallas is known for its big city lights and high rise buildings. But a recent study shows farms and farmland in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex increased by nearly 10 percent from 2007 to 2012.

“Agriculture is alive and well in the DFW metroplex, looking at the eight counties that surround the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. The metroplex isn’t just Dallas and Tarrant County. Now it includes Denton, Collin, Tarrant, Dallas, Rockwall, Kaufman, Johnson and Ellis counties,” Dr. Blake Bennett, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension economist in Dallas said in an interview with Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network.

These eight counties comprise 910,000 acres of agricultural land— 830,000 in crops and 80,000 acres in pasture. More than 20 diverse crops are grown in the metroplex.

The number of small farms in this eight-county region is the largest agricultural segment of growth in the metroplex.

“Our biggest increase came from the 10-50 acre operations. It does go beyond that, though. I am happy to say we saw increases in all size categories across the board,” Bennett said. “So it just points to that even though you think of concrete whenever you think of Dallas-Fort Worth, we do have a number of farms that are coming on board.”

These patterns show that production agriculture is alive and healthy in the DFW metroplex.

The climate, rainfall and proximity to population contribute to the area’s agricultural success.

“The blackland soil here, as everyone knows, is higher in nutrients and it definitely can hold on to the water, can hold on to the nutrients, so they don’t leach out of the soil like you find in some of the sandier conditions,” Bennett said. “So that does help promote some of the traditional crops, as well as some of the non-traditional that we see.”

Wheat, corn, grain sorghum, hay, and ensilage are the main crops for the region. But nursery and greenhouse also plays a major role, generating about $296.9 million. Bennett said it makes up about 19 percent of the state’s total.

Proximity of large farms to metropolitan areas allows metropolitans to enjoy winemaking tours, pumpkin patches, hay rides, corn mazes and other types of agritourism.

The study estimates the annual average impact of DFW metroplex’s crop production from 2010 to 2013 on the regional economy was $1.03 billion.

Cattle in the DFW area also makes a large economic impact with 3 percent of the state’s total at $145 million just from cow-calf and stocker operations alone. There are about 203,000 cattle in the region and 50,000 beef cows.

Agribusiness firms within the eight-county area also add much to the overall economic input from agriculture.

“Now going beyond the farm gate whenever we get into agribusiness, about 210,000 people are employed in agribusiness in the DFW metroplex. They have an annual payroll of about $10.28 billion,” Bennett said.

He noted wholesale trade is the biggest player, employing nearly 88,000 total workers with an annual payroll of $6.17 billion.

“They’re the biggest player that we have out there and we’re looking at about an $11 to $12 billion industry each year in the DFW metroplex,” Bennett said.

Farmers and ranchers are also spending dollars in the metroplex, benefiting the local economy.

“They buy chemicals. They go out and see movies with their families and go to restaurants. So you see the dollars turn over and over again in the economy. So it’s just a ripple effect,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the information in this study can be used for the benefit of agriculture.

“Agriculture is still a vibrant part of our community. I think it also shows the community wants to maintain agriculture, because there’s just something special about that way of life, how slow it is and the simplicity of it. They like knowing it is there,” Bennett said.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Agriculture+Thrives%2C+Evolves+within+DFW+Metroplex/2450139/296943/article.html.

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