Agriculture continues to play a significant role in Hillsborough County's economy.
Hillsborough has 255,532 acres devoted to agricultural production — 39 percent of the land in the 1,000-square-mile county, according to a report of 2011 agricultural sales and acreage recently released by the Hillsborough County Agriculture Industry Development Program and Hillsborough County Extension Service.
The county ranks as the fourth-largest producer of agricultural products in the state, and 59th out of 3,076 counties in the United States.
Agricultural sales in Hillsborough County amounted to $832 million in 2011, up $16 million from the previous year, according to the report. Hillsborough County has 2,843 farms — the second-largest number of any county in the state of Florida.
Strawberries continue to be the highest sales crop at $388 million, which is almost 47 percent of the county's total agricultural sales. Hillsborough produces 90 percent of the strawberries grown in Florida, and nearly 11 percent of the strawberries grown in the nation. Hillsborough also produces 14 percent of Florida's tomatoes and 5 percent of the tomatoes grown in the nation.
Vegetable production comes in second to strawberries, with $150 million, or 18 percent of annual sales. Ornamental plants generated $139 million in 2011, accounting for 16.7 percent of annual sales.