Booming Arkansas Industry: Agriculture

By Arkansas Next on Friday, October 13, 2023

Agriculture by the Numbers

 243,165 - total number of agri jobs in Arkansas in 2022

 Crops Planted In Arkansas In 2022

  • Soybeans - 3,180,000 acres planted
  • Rice - 1,106,000 acres planted
  • Corn - 710,000 acres planted
  • Cotton - 640,000 acres planted
  • Hay - 1,093,000 acres harvested
  • Wheat - 220,000 acres planted

 Agriculture/forestry use more than 97% of Arkansas' land resources

  • 13.8 million acres of farmland
  • 7.8 million acres of crops and hay
  • 8.3 million acres of livestock
  • 19 million acres of forest

 Arkansas Agri Rankings

  • 1st - Arkansas is the No. 1 producer of rice in the U.S.
  • 3rd in cotton production
  • 3rd in broilers and turkeys raised
  • 4th in catfish production
  • 5th in timber production
  • 8th in egg production
  • 10th in soybean production

 41,900 farms statewide

► 334 acres average size of an Arkansas farm

► 97% of Arkansas farms are family-owned

► Big Names, Big Businesses

  • Walmart — the largest food retailer in the world
  • Tyson Foods Inc. — The largest poultry and meat processor in the U.S.
  • Riceland Foods — The largest rice exporter in the U.S.

(Sources: Arkansas Grown by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture,

Meet The Pros

More Jobs in Agriculture

TradeWhat They DoEducation Level NeededMedian Salary in AR
Agricultural Equipment Operators Operate agricultural machinery, like tractors, combines, plows, sprayers and irrigation systems. On-the-job training $37,780
Agricultural Inspectors Inspect farms, agricultural products, processing facilities, and equipment to ensure guidelines are being met. Associate degree or higher $44,720
Veterinary Technicians Assist veterinarians, perform medical procedures, and diagnostic tests, help with X-rays and more. Technical certificate or associate degree $30,000
Farm Buyers and Purchasing Agents Responsible for getting the necessary equipment and supplies needed for agricultural operations (like seeds, machinery and fertilizers). Associate degree or higher $52,410
Conservation Scientists Examine plants, animals, soil and water to figure out how to take care of them and recommend conservation practices. Associate degree or higher $64,460*
Environmental Engineering Technicians Collect data, conduct tests, and maintain equipment to make sure air, water and land are safe to use. Associate degree or higher $40,400
Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Managers Run the farm/ranch; make decisions about what to grow, when to harvest and how to keep everything healthy. High school diploma or equivalent $50,650
Supervisors of Farming, Fishing and Forestry Workers Work for farmers/ranchers but supervise agriculture worker teams—assign tasks, monitor progress, ensure safety protocols are followed. High school diploma or equivalent $47,790
Food Scientists and Technologists Like a chef who's also a scientist; make food better, safer and last longer by studying ingredients and cooking methods. Associate degree or higher $82,490
Forest and Conservation Technicians Maintain natural resources and managing ecosystems; collect data on forest conditions, monitor wildlife and help with conservation; work on wildfire prevention, reforestation and public education. Associate degree or higher $46,950
Agricultural Engineers Use science and technology to make farming better; create tools, machines and systems for farmers to grow more food, use fewer resources and protect the environment. Bachelor’s degree $83,260*
Fallers Cut down trees using tools and techniques that ensure safety of people, other trees or surroundings. High school diploma or equivalent $39,310
Vegetation Pesticide Sprayers and Applicators Use special tools to spray plants with chemicals that protect them and help them grow stronger and better. High school diploma or equivalent $34,210

*Median salary in the U.S.; Arkansas median unavailable (Source: