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 $104.8 billion annually to our state’s economy. 

  • Food processing activity contributes $82.7 billion to industrial sales.
  • The state is home to 64,793 farms on 14.3 million acres. The average farm size in Wisconsin is 221 acres.

Wisconsin agriculture provides jobs.

  • Annually, 435,700 jobs or 11.8% of the state’s employment.
  • On-farm production contributes 154,000 jobs.
  • Processing contributes 282,000 jobs.

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

  • In 2020, Wisconsin grew 5.66 million cwt of snap beans, 1.82 million cwt of carrots, and 1.14 million cwt of green peas.
  • The state ranks third in the nation in potato production, harvesting potatoes on 68,500 acres in 2020.

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

  • Wisconsin cranberry production for 2020 totaled 4.64 million barrels. Growers harvested 20,800 acres. Wisconsin produces 59 percent of th​e nation's crop making us the top cranberry producing state in the country.
  • The state also produces a large tart cherry crop, producing 10.1 million pounds in 2020. 
  • Wisconsin boasts many apple orchards producing 49.0​ million pounds of apples in 2018.

Wisconsin is home to about 6,700 dairy farms, more than any other state, and 1.28 million cows.​

  • The dairy industry itself contributes $45.6 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year.
  • 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 26% ​of the nation’s cheese, producing 3.39 billion pounds in 2020.
  • In 2020, the state ​led the nation with the production of 796 million pounds of specialty cheeses, including but not limited to asiago, gorgonzola, gruyere, aged cheddar, gouda, and limburger. ​

Wisconsin exported more than $3.37 billion of agricultural and food products in 2020 to 145 countries. 

  • Wisconsin currently ranks 13th among U.S. states in food, forestry, and agricultural exports.
  • Wisconsin ranks first in the export of ginseng roots, prepared/preserved cranberries, raw furskins, and bovine semen.
  • ​​The state's top agricultural export markets include Canada, China, and Japan.​
  • Miscellaneous foods (ingredients, sau​ces, yeasts, mustards)​ were​ Wisconsin's most valuable agricultural export category in 2020.​​

(Updated September 28, ​​2021)​​