Edgecombe County Extension
Our Mission

North Carolina Cooperative Extension partners with communities to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolinians.


Agriculture is by far the mainstay in Edgecombe County. Edgecombe County has approximately 150,000 acres of cropland. This cropland is broken down into 1231 farms with 346 producers and 5,683 owners. The major crops in the county are cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat, peanuts, tobacco, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and various other vegetable crops.

Although commodity crops are the biggest part of our agriculture community, livestock also plays a major role. The county has several pork, poultry, beef, sheep and aquaculture producers.

The producers and owners in Edgecombe County are sensitive to the environmental needs of the cropland in the county. They have enrolled over 500 conservation contracts in various conservation programs which benefit, not only the land, but also water and air quality, wildlife habitat, soil and wind erosion.

Though the loss of federal support in key agricultural commodities such as peanuts, and the decline in the profitability of tobacco, has affected farm management, it remains the centerpiece of our economy and new opportunities for growth are on the horizon. For example, there are already numerous, large scale attempts to replace traditional crops with new ventures such as melons, pumpkins, butter beans and string beans.

Agriculture and agribusiness-food, natural fiber, and forests account for one-fifth (22.5%) of Edgecombe County’s income and employment. This is true even though the number of farmers in Edgecombe County have declined to about 346. In contrast there were 757 farmers in 1978. However, it must be remembered there are still over 5,683 farmland owners in Edgecombe County and 1,231 actual farms. They and the farmers account for approximately 20% of all property and personal taxes collected. While the number of farmers has decreased, the actual farm income has continued to increase over the pst two decades. In 2004 there was a total agricultural income of 136 Million. In 1993 that figure was 90.2 Million (44% less). Currently Edgecombe County ranks 21 out of 100 counties in agricultural income. Edgecombe County’s farmers rank 5th in North Carolina for the amount of USDA payment received.

There has been tremendous change in the agricultural landscape of Edgecombe County because of the loss of peanut allotments in 2002 and tobacco allotments in 2005. This transition has cost Edgecombe County about $30 Million in taxable assets (approximately $250,000 in actual tax revenue). On the tobacco farmer’s side, they have lost $20 Million in tobacco income since 1997 while tobacco quota owners have lost $45 Million in “real” assets with the disappearance of their quota. On the plus side, the tobacco buyout payments started in 2005. Approximately $100 Million will be coming to Edgecombe tobacco producers and former quota owners over the next 10 years. In spite of all this change, it is expected that Edgecombe County will remain one of the most viable producers of food and fiber in North Carolina. To aid in this transition, the trend toward animal agriculture in Edgecombe County will continue, taking its share of the farm income from less than 10% fifty years ago to 25% now. This figure is expected to approach 40% over the next few years.

Contact Edgecombe County Extension

201 Saint Andrews St
P.O. Box 129
Tarboro, North Carolina  27886
Phone: (252) 641-7827
Fax: (252) 641-7831


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Edgecombe County, North Carolina

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