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State Vegetable Growers Had Banner Year in 2015
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/09/2016

The Midwest Food Processors Association touted Wisconsin's second place ranking nationally for total production and value of production for major processing vegetables in 2015. The findings were released by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistical Service.

MWFPA President Nick George says Wisconsin is a major food processor, and its vegetable industry contributed to the state's $6.3 billion specialty crop industry, which employs over 35,000 Wisconsin residents.

"Food processing is strongly tied to the agricultural community," George said. "Wisconsin places perennially in the top five state in growing and processing such crops as potatoes, sweet corn, peas, snap beans, carrots, cucumbers and cabbage for kraut."

The USDA figures show the Badger State maintained its number one ranking in the production of snap beans for processing, as Wisconsin farmers processed 43 percent of the nation's crop. Harvested acres were up from 64,100 acres in 2014 to 65,300 acres in 2015.

Wisconsin remained in third place for processing sweet corn in 2015, producing 490,230 tons. Harvested acres decreased by 5,100 to 60,700 acres. The sweet corn industry produces an annual state economic impact of nearly $130 million when its yearly sweet corn crop is processed.

Green pea production totaled 81,120 tons in 2015, up 15 percent from the previous year, keeping Wisconsin the third largest state nationally in green pea processing.

Meanwhile, carrots for processing went down nine percent from the previous year. The state accounts for 33 percent of the nation's production. And cucumbers for pickle production were slightly down in 2015. But harvested acreage remained at 5,400 and yields were down also.

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