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7. AGRICULTURE

Texas has the most farms of all US both in

terms of number and acreage. Texas leads

the nation in number of cattle, usually

exceeding 16 million head. The 1,200 km²

La Escalera Ranch

, located 20 miles (32km)

south of Fort Stockton, Texas, is one of the

largest cattle ranches in the South-western

US. The state leads nationally in production

of sheep and goat products. Texas is a lead­

ing cotton producer, its second-most-valu­

able farm product. Texas is a leader in cereal

crop production. Three counties in the state

(Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda) take

advantage of water from the Lower Colorado

River Authority to grow rice and are respon­

sible for about 5 per cent of annual U.S. rice

production. Texas is also a large producer of

watermelons, grapefruits and cantaloupes.

Table 6: Farms

Number of farms

Land in Farms (acres)

Average farm size (acres)

2012

2013

2012

2013

2012

2013

Texas

249,000

248,500

130,200

130,100

523

US

2.109.810 2.103,210 914,600

914,240

433

435

8. WINE INDUSTRY

Areas under vines

:

Vineyards can be found

in almost every region of the state. Texas has

200 wineries, approximately 1,700 ha of pro­

ducing vineyards and boasts eight American

Viticultural Areas (wine grape-growing re­

gions that have been identified by the US

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau).

Texas is the nation’s fifth largest grape and

wine producer.

For a wine to mention an AVA on the label, 85

per cent of the volume of wine must come

from grapes grown in that designated region,

but to bear the

GoTexan

logo on the bottle,

75 per cent of the grapes used to make the

wine must have been grown in Texas, but not

necessarily in the same viticultural area (AVA).

The Texas wine, wine grape and related

industries produced more than US$1.83 bil­

lion of economic value to the State of Texas

by the end of 2011, the last year for which

numbers are available. Industry officials say

2014 should prove to be the best economic

year yet as a result of expanded vineyards

and new labels all across the state. In all, the

wine and wine grape industry generates

about 11,000 jobs in Texas, provides a

US$400 million wage rate and a total pro­

duction of about 1.5 million cases of wine.

The industry is growing. In addition, wine-

related tourism produced an estimated

US$437.8 million in revenue to the state from

an estimated 1.5 million tourists. Yet another

benefit is an estimated local and state tax

Land use

8