Green Giants: Wisconsin’s Top 5 Crops

The top 5 crops in Wisconsin are corn, soybeans, potatoes, snap beans, and cranberries.

Wisconsin, a significant agricultural state in the United States, boasts a thriving farming industry that contributes immensely to its economy.

With an impressive annual revenue of nearly $104 billion, Wisconsin stands as a testament to the power and potential of its agricultural sector.

Known for its dairy production, this state is home to an astonishing number of dairy farms and cows, surpassing all others. However, Wisconsin’s agricultural prowess extends far beyond dairy alone.

In this blog post, we will explore the top nine crops grown in Wisconsin, highlighting the diverse range of agricultural products that flourish in this land of fertile fields and dedicated farmers.

1. Cranberries: Wisconsin’s Tart Delight

Wisconsin, with its expansive sand and peat marshes, has become synonymous with cranberry production in the United States. As the leading producer of cranberries, the state takes pride in harvesting over 60% of the country’s cranberry crop.

Spread across 21,000 acres in 20 counties, Wisconsin’s cranberry farms benefit from the ideal growing conditions provided by its central and northern regions.

The cranberry holds a special place in Wisconsin’s heart as it is officially recognized as the state fruit, signifying its importance and significance to the region.

The roots of Wisconsin’s cranberry industry can be traced back to the 1860s when the first cranberry vines were planted.

Since then, the industry has flourished, and today, over 250 growers cultivate cranberries across central and northern Wisconsin.

These dedicated farmers employ their expertise to nurture the cranberry plants and deliver a bountiful harvest year after year.

In 2022, Wisconsin’s cranberry production reached a staggering 4.84 million barrels, solidifying its position as the top cranberry-producing state.

Massachusetts followed with a respectable 1.26 million barrels, but Wisconsin’s dominance in cranberry production remains unchallenged.

2. Corn: Wisconsin’s Golden Grain

When it comes to corn production, Wisconsin stands tall as a leading producer, excelling in both corn for silage and corn for grain.

The state’s agricultural prowess extends to multiple types of corn cultivated for different purposes, solidifying its position as one of the top corn-producing states in the nation.

In 2022, Wisconsin’s corn fields stretched across 880,000 acres dedicated to corn for silage, and an impressive 3,030,000 acres devoted to corn for grain, as reported by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

These vast expanses of cornfields are a testament to Wisconsin’s commitment to agriculture and its significant contribution to the nation’s corn production.

The Rural Mutual Insurance Company confirms Wisconsin’s prominence in corn production, highlighting its status as one of the leading states for growing corn.

With various types of corn cultivated, farmers in Wisconsin harness the versatility of this golden grain to meet the diverse demands of different markets and industries.

Corn holds a special place among Wisconsin’s agricultural commodities, ranking among the top 10 according to the Farm Flavor website.

In 2019 alone, the value of corn production in the state amounted to an impressive $1.4 billion.

This figure not only underscores the economic significance of corn in Wisconsin but also reflects the dedication and hard work of the state’s corn farmers.

Agriculture in Wisconsin wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the state’s distinction as the leading producer of corn for silage.

The Wikipedia page on Agriculture in Wisconsin proudly acknowledges this feat, further solidifying Wisconsin’s agricultural prowess and its crucial role in meeting the needs of livestock and dairy farming.

3. Potatoes: Wisconsin’s Bountiful Harvest

Wisconsin, known for its agricultural excellence, has carved a prominent place for itself in the potato industry. As the third-largest potato-producing state in the United States, Wisconsin’s farmers diligently cultivate potatoes across 71,000 acres, contributing to the nation’s potato supply.

In 2021, Wisconsin’s potato production reached an impressive total of 29.0 million hundredweight (cwt), representing a 1 percent increase from the previous year.

The state’s potato growers showcased their expertise and dedication, ensuring a thriving potato harvest that continues to fuel Wisconsin’s agricultural economy.

Back in 2018, Wisconsin’s potato industry yielded a remarkable 23 million cwt of potatoes. This significant output speaks volumes about the state’s commitment to potato cultivation and the tireless efforts of its farmers.

When it comes to potato varieties, Wisconsin farmers pride themselves on growing an array of top-quality spuds.

The state’s potato fields flourish with varieties such as Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, and Shepody, which are renowned for their flavor, texture, and versatility in culinary applications.

The potato industry in Wisconsin extends its impact far beyond the fields.

With an annual revenue surpassing $300 million and the support of over 2,500 jobs, the potato industry serves as a vital contributor to the state’s economy.

4. Snap Beans: Wisconsin’s Processing Powerhouse

When it comes to snap bean production for processing, Wisconsin stands tall as the nation’s leader. With its fertile fields and dedicated farmers, the state has earned its reputation as a processing powerhouse in the snap bean industry.

In 2022, Wisconsin farmers cultivated snap beans on an impressive 58,200 acres. Their hard work and expertise yielded a whopping 6.26 million hundredweight (cwt) of snap beans, making a significant contribution to the national supply.

In fact, Wisconsin’s snap bean production accounts for about 44% of the total snap bean production in the United States.

The value of Wisconsin’s snap bean production for processing in 2022 was estimated at an impressive $49.6 million.

This economic impact underscores the importance of snap bean production to Wisconsin’s agricultural industry and its role in supporting the state’s economy.

As you travel through the picturesque landscapes of Wisconsin, you might catch sight of fields adorned with rows of vibrant green snap bean plants.

These fields are a testament to the dedication and hard work of Wisconsin’s farmers, who strive to deliver top-quality snap beans to processing facilities.

5. Soybeans: Fueling Wisconsin’s Agricultural Economy

Soybeans have established themselves as a crucial crop in Wisconsin, contributing significantly to the state’s agricultural economy.

In 2018, Wisconsin farmers harvested an impressive 2.2 million acres of soybeans, resulting in a production of 105.8 million bushels of this versatile crop.

As one of the top 10 agricultural commodities in the state, soybeans play a pivotal role in Wisconsin’s agricultural landscape.

Several counties in Wisconsin have emerged as key contributors to the state’s soybean production.

Rock County has consistently held its position as the top soybean-producing county in Wisconsin. In 2022, it led all other counties with an impressive production of 5.95 million bushels.

Even in 2023, Rock County maintained its dominance, producing 5.36 million bushels, solidifying its reputation as a leader in soybean production.

This county’s consistent performance demonstrates its unwavering commitment to soybean cultivation.

Dane County has also emerged as a notable soybean-producing county in Wisconsin. In 2021, it topped the charts with a production of 5.38 million bushels.

In 2023, Dane County continued to shine, producing 5.26 million bushels, securing its position among the top five soybean-producing counties in the state.

Another county that deserves recognition for its soybean production is Dodge County. In 2023, it produced 5.36 million bushels, placing it among the top five counties in terms of soybean production.

Grant County has also made its mark in the soybean industry. With a production of 5.24 million bushels in 2023, it earned its place among the top five soybean-producing counties in Wisconsin.

Lafayette County, too, has showcased its prowess in soybean production.

In 2022, it stood among the top five counties with a production of 3.79 million bushels. Continuing its strong performance,

Lafayette County produced 4.43 million bushels in 2023, further establishing itself as a prominent contributor to Wisconsin’s soybean production.

The impressive soybean production across these counties reflects the dedication and hard work of Wisconsin’s farmers.

Their commitment to cultivating high-quality soybeans has not only fueled the state’s agricultural economy but has also contributed to the overall growth and success of the soybean industry in the United States.