Agriculture in eastern North Carolina is a major contributor to the state's economy. In 2003, farms generated over $7 billion in cash receipts. Of the ten counties that brought in the most cash receipts for crops and livestock, seven were from the east. Duplin, Sampson, and Bladen Counties rank one, two, and three in hog production in the state. However, this section of the state does face challenges. Tobacco is no longer the number one crop; the federal buyout of the tobacco support program changed the business arrangement for raising it. Livestock producers face environmental regulations. Many farms are consolidating into larger ones. Whether this is good or bad for the farmer is yet to be determined. Global competition will affect the east, as well as the whole state.