Despite the proximity to the Houston metro area and lands becoming more and more fragmented into smaller parcels, agriculture continues to be very important in Austin County and a major source of economic stability. Climatic conditions and good soils make the county ideal for growing a variety of crops and livestock species. The area was once known for its cotton production in the early half of the twentieth century and gradually transitioned into an area more conducive for the production of livestock following the second world war and is a trend that continues to this day.
Beef cattle is the number one agricultural commodity produced in the county, with an estimated 40,000 brood cows. Hay and forages make up the number two agricultural commodity grown and sold by producers, as an estimated 37,500 acres are currently grown for hay production. Other commodities grown in the county include Corn, Cotton, Grain Sorghum, Rice, Melons, Pecans, Wine Grapes and other specialty crops. Other livestock species are also produced in the county, such as Horses, Pure Bred Seed Stock Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Swine, Exotic Wildlife and others. The total estimated agricultural income is $88 million.