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Nevada Economy


In terms of revenue generated Nevada's top five agricultural products are cattle and calves, hay, dairy products, onions, and potatoes.


Cattle and sheep ranching is the primary agricultural activity in Nevada. Most Nevada cattle are sold to farmers in California, Idaho, Nevada and the Midwestern states. Sheep, hogs and lambs are sold to meat packers. Wool is sold to textile mills.


Nevada supports some irrigated farms. Hay, to feed livestock, is the state's biggest crop.

Other crops are alfalfa seed, barley, garlic, mint, onions, potatoes and wheat.

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Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

The most important manufactured products in Nevada are printed products (printing and publishing companies), food products (meat-packing, pet food, processed foods, coffee), concrete and machinery (electronic, computer equipment, appliances, neon signs, electrical machinery).

Nevada also produces some chemicals, plastics and construction equipment.


The most valuable mined product in the state is gold. Nevada produces about 3/4 of the gold produced in the United States.

Nevada leads in the production of silver too.

Other important mined products are diatomite and barite.

Some clays, copper, gypsum, limestone, lithium, carbonate, magnesite, oil, salt and sand and gravel are also produced in the state.


Nevada's service industries, concentrated in the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas, are very, very important to Nevada's economy. Tourism is the prime reason for this. Nevada's community, business and personal service industry accounts for about 1/3 of the state's total gross product. This is a higher percentage than in any other state. Gambling, amusement and recreational services (dude ranches, fishing resorts, hunting lodges) are the most important sectors.

Other activities include the operation of private schools, hospitals, advertising and data processing firms, cleaning establishments, hotels and repair shops.

The second-ranking service industry is finance, insurance and real estate. Nevada grew faster than any other state in the 1990s.

Wholesale (automobiles, food products, minerals) and retail (stores, restaurants) trade rank third.

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