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A look at Cape Girardeau agriculture

Anyone who has driven just a few miles outside of town knows Cape Girardeau County is home to some of the greenest fields in the state. Fertile soil abounds in this area, thanks in part to its close proximity to the Mississippi River.

Southeast Missouri is known to produce top-quality corn, soybeans, wheat and more. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the 2018 planting season saw nearly 57 million bushels of corn and 55 million bushels of soybeans from this area. Winter wheat alone brought more than 9 million bushels, 384 thousand of which came from Cape Girardeau County.

In fact, Cape County currently boasts 252,911 acres of farmland. That means about 68% of the county’s total land area is devoted to agriculture. The majority of farmland is used to grow crops, although some of it is pastures and woodland.

In the livestock sector, cattle reign supreme. Our back roads are dotted with bovines – mostly Angus, although other breeds are common. The latest count places the Cape Girardeau total at 42,500 head.

Cape County is home to 1,139 individual farms. The average size of a local farm is 222 acres, but this can vary significantly. Whether they’re planting corn and soybeans or herding cattle, these businesses are vital to the economy, creating jobs and generating revenue as they have for decades.

 Currently, agriculture brings approximately $830 million to Cape County. In addition to revenue, the industry provides 3,717 jobs. For this reason, farming is one of our most valuable assets for maintaining a thriving, growing community.

 Farming is too often a thankless job, but we strive to appreciate agriculture in Cape Girardeau. One way you can support local farmers is by visiting the Cape Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons or the Cape Riverfront Market on Saturday mornings. You’ll find the freshest produce around, along with barbecue, baked goods, doughnuts and much more. Head to our Events page for details.

 

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