Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics

​Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland but there is more produced and processed in our state than just milk and cheese. Wisconsin ranks first in the nation for: snap beans for processing, cheese, cranberries, ginseng, mink pelts, dry whey for humans, milk goats and corn for silage.

Wisconsin agriculture is a big economic driver contributing $88.3 billion annually to our state’s economy. 

  • Sales from food processing industrial sales total $67.8 billion. 

  • Using the industry sales multiplier, every dollar of agricultural activity yields an additional 79 cents of industrial sales elsewhere in Wisconsin’s economy.

  • The state is home to 68,500 farms on 14.3 million acres. The average farm size in Wisconsin is 209 acres.

Wisconsin agriculture provides jobs.

  • Annually, 413,500 jobs or 11.9% of the state’s employment.
  • On-farm production contributes 153,900 jobs.
  • Processing contributes 259,600 jobs.
  • Every job in agriculture supports an additional 1.46 jobs elsewhere in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is one of the top states in the production of the major processing vegetables.

  • In 2017, Wisconsin grew 6.56 million cwt of snap beans, 2.52 million cwt of carrots, 687,500 cwt of cucumbers and 967,500 cwt of green peas.

  • The state ranks third in the nation in potato production harvesting potatoes on 64,000 acres in 2016.

The state is known for its fruit production, including its state fruit – the cranberry.

  • Wisconsin cranberry production for 2016 totaled 6.13​ million barrels. Growers harvested 21,100 acres. Wisconsin produces 64 percent of the nation's crop making us the top cranberry producing state in the country.
  • The state also produces a large tart cherry crop, producing 13.6 million pounds in 2016. 
  • Wisconsin boasts many apple orchards producing 41.0​ million pounds of apples in 2016.

Wisconsin is home to about 8,700 dairy farms, more than any other state, and 1.28 million cows.​

  • The dairy industry itself contributes $43.4 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year.
  • The dairy industry fuels the state's economy at more than $82,500 per minute.
  • The feed mills, dairy equipment manufacturers and technicians, veterinarians, construction companies, genetics companies, milk haulers, dairy plants,  dairy software companies - create a wave of economic impact that rolls across the entire state. 

Wisconsin is #1 in cheese.

  • Our state’s nearly 1,200 licensed cheesemakers produce over 600 types, styles and varieties of cheese – nearly double the number of any other state.
  • Wisconsin cheesemakers make a quarter of the nation’s cheese, producing 3.2 billion pounds in 2016.
  • Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of 774 million pounds of specialty cheeses, including but not limited to asiago, gorgonzola, gruyere, aged cheddar, gouda, and limburger. 

Wisconsin exported $3.5 billion of agricultural products in 2017 to 147 countries.

  • Wisconsin ranks 12th among all states in the nation for the value of agricultural exports.
  • The state's top agricultural export markets include Canada, Mexico and China.
  • Prepared vegetables and fruits were Wisconsin's most valuable agricultural export category in 2017. 
  • Wisconsin leads the nation in the export of bovine semen, ginseng roots, and prepared/preserved cranberries and sweet corn.
(Updated March 1, 2018)​