Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


Agriculture receipt data were obtained from USDA Agriculture Statistics on four prominent tobacco producing states-North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia--for the period of 1946 through 1995. The data were adjusted for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index and averaged for five-year periods beginning with 1946-1950 and continuing through 1991-1995. There were four objectives of the study. The first objective was to compare these states for annual agriculture receipts, crop receipts, and livestock receipts. State total agriculture receipts ranged from 1.8 to 3.2 billion dollars in 1946-50 and from 1.4 to 4.1 billion dollars in 1991-95. For total agriculture receipt, rankings were as follows: North Carolina highest, Kentucky intermediate, and Tennessee and Virginia lowest and about equal. State rankings for crop and livestock receipts were the same as those for total agriculture receipts except the North Carolina ranking for livestock receipts went from lowest to highest among the states during the period of study. In Kentucky and Tennessee, crop and livestock contributions were approximately equally throughout the study. Crop receipts exceeded livestock receipts in NC until the 1980s, while in Virginia livestock receipts consistently exceeded crop receipts. The second objective was to determine the contribution of tobacco receipts and their relationships to the receipts of other agriculture commodities. Average state tobacco receipts in dollars ranged from 254 million to 1.8 billion dollars in 1946-50 and from 129 to 723 million dollars in 1991-95. State rankings for tobacco receipts were as follows: North Carolina highest, Kentucky intermediate, and Tennessee and Virginia lowest and approximately equal. Tobacco receipts (dollars) for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia were relatively consistent over the 50-year period; however, the tobacco receipts for North Carolina decreased from 1.8 billion to 723 million dollars during the period. When tobacco receipts were considered as a component of total agriculture receipts, the tobacco contribution decreased from 54% to 18% in North Carolina and from 35% to 26% in Kentucky, whereas the proportion remained rather consistent in the 10% to 15% range for Tennessee and Virginia. When tobacco receipts were expressed as a percentage of crop receipts, the percentages were highest in Kentucky, intermediate in North Carolina, and lowest in Virginia and Tennessee. Correlations between tobacco and total agriculture receipts were positive and significant for each state except North Carolina. The third objective of the study was to examine the contribution of specific crop and livestock enterprises to agriculture receipts during the 1981-1995 period. Total agriculture receipts increased in North Carolina but decreased in the other states. The increase in North Carolina resulted from increases in livestock receipts (collectively), swine, poultry, vegetables, and other crops. The decrease in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia resulted from decreases in livestock (collectively), dairy, swine, crops (collectively), fruit and tobacco receipts. North Carolina agriculture income has increased and reflects more contribution from livestock (collectively), swine, poultry and less from tobacco. Kentucky agriculture income has decreased and reflects decreases from livestock and crops. Kentucky agriculture receipts are more dependent upon tobacco than are the receipts in the other states. The fourth objective was to relate diversification patterns from the other states to Kentucky's present status and future opportunities. In 1995, tobacco contributions to agriculture receipts were North Carolina (15%), Kentucky (21%), Tennessee (11%), and Virginia (8%); poultry contributions were North Carolina (29%), Kentucky (4%), Tennessee (10%), and Virginia (31%). Although considered minor contributors at present, hay and other crops (greenhouse and nursery plants) show promise for further diversity of Kentucky agriculture.



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