Delaware’s farmers are among the most productive and efficient in the nation, receiving strong support from the State, business community and leading research institutions.


Industry Overview

Delaware is the one of the country’s leading producers of broiler chickens and lima beans, and a significant producer of soybeans, field corn, watermelons, peas, sweet corn, potatoes, and dairy products, as well as having a thriving seafood industry of crabs, clams and oysters. The State also has a strong thoroughbred and harness-racing industry–and a growing agritourism sector, including wineries and breweries.

The numbers paint an impressive picture:

At the University of Delaware, internationally renowned scientists work alongside students to tackle the big issues facing agribusiness, in the classroom and on the school’s 350-acre farm that provides hands-on experience with animals, crop plants, wetlands, forests, greenhouses and a working dairy. The Cooperative Extension Service and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware conduct research and provide a host of services to support the State’s poultry industry.

In 2011, Delaware was the first state in the U.S. to establish a Young Farmers Program to provide long-term, no-interest loans for the purchase of farms in exchange for permanent agricultural easements to ensure that Delaware farms remain active and profitable. Grants, loans and cost-share programs contribute to farmers’ ability to improve efficiencies and increase productivity, while research and development at the State’s universities and research institutes provide the technologies and expertise needed to grow and expand the industry.

Key Companies


Allen Harim Logo
Perdue Logo, Delaware Poultry Industry
Mountaire Chicken Logo
Fifer Orchards Logo
TS Smith and Songs Farm Logo
Coastal Growers Logo
Schiff Farms Logo
Hy-point Dairy Farms Logo
Hannover Foods Logo
Pictsweet Logo
Dogfish Head Brewery Logo

Success Stories


Jim Perdue, Delaware Agriculture


Jim Perdue


From the egg to the chicken and back again, Perdue Farms is the country’s third-largest poultry company in sales and one of the mainstays of Delaware’s agribusiness industry. Recent activities have strengthened Perdue’s connection to the State and reflect its commitment to responsible growth and stewardship in the industry. Read the full story


More Resources


Delaware: First State for Agriculture
delaware, global delaware, The First State in Agriculture, invest delaware

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Everyone knows that Delaware is the best place to form a business, but did you know that we’ve also got great watermelons?Delaware’s agricultural products, including watermelons, peaches, cabbages, soybeans and sweet corn, are among the highest-quality and best-tasting in the country, and the state is uniquely well-equipped to produce them efficiently and cost-effectively.

Delaware Department of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture works to sustain and promote the viability of food, fiber and agricultural industries in Delaware. DDA supports these industries with certification and training services, licensing and registration, information services and financial assistance.

Buying Local Means Buying Fresh

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Markets and roadside stands around the State are well-stocked with the best local produce this summer, from sweet corn and watermelons to peaches, beans and tomatoes. A taste of Delaware is available at any local farmers’ market and farm stand, where First State families can buy directly from our state’s farm facilities. Locals say, “The best and freshest produce and other products are available right in our neighborhoods and communities.”

Delaware Farm Bureau

The DFB is a non-profit and nongovernmental organization of approximately 8,000 farm families and associate members whose mission is to preserve agriculture as an industry and way of life.

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