New England farm cash receipts up 4 percent in 2013; Vermont, Maine lead

New England farm cash receipts for 2013 were up 4 percent over the previous year, led by top producers in Vermont and Maine, according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

Vermont ranked highest in cash receipts at $836 million — 10 percent higher than the previous year. Maine earned second place with receipts of $740 million — a 2 percent increase.

Connecticut ranked third at $575 million, followed by Massachusetts with $447 million in cash receipts, which marked a 6 percent drop from the previous year.

The report, released this week, showed New Hampshire's receipts increased $6.5 million to $189.7 million, ahead of sixth-place Rhode Island, had about $59 million in sales.

Milk is the top money maker in Vermont. In Maine it's fall potatoes.

Vermont milk sales totaled $552 million in 2013, a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

USDA statistician Gary Keough, who prepared the report, said the biggest upside is the increased sale and price of dairy products. The downside is that nursery and greenhouse sales — particularly in New Hampshire — have not rebounded from the housing crisis.