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The Midwest Food Processors Association (MWFPA) recently touted Wisconsin’s second place ranking nationally for total production and value of production for major processing vegetables in 2013. According to new figures from the USDA, California remained the top state in these categories and accounted for 71 percent of the total production of processing vegetables.
“Food processing is strongly tied to the agricultural community. Wisconsin places perennially in the top five in growing and processing such crops as potatoes, sweet corn, peas, snap beans, carrots and cucumbers,” said Nick George, president of MWFPA. The state is a major food processor hosting companies possessing national and international name recognition.
The USDA figures show the Badger State maintained its top ranking in production of processing snap beans, as Wisconsin farmers processed 45 percent of the nation’s crop. Harvested acres were down from 70,700 acres in 2012 to 59,800 in 2013. Nationally, snap bean production fell 11 percent, due to fewer acres harvested.
Wisconsin remained in third place for processing sweet corn in 2013, producing 583,960 tons. Harvested acres decreased by 6,700 to 66,500 acres. U.S. processing sweet corn production was down 13 percent to 2.55 million tons. The production of sweet corn for processing is heavily concentrated in the upper Midwest. A report released last year showed that the state’s sweet corn industry produces an annual state economic impact of nearly $130 million when its yearly sweet corn crop is processed.
Green pea production in Wisconsin in 2013 totaled 75,550 tons, up 14 percent from the previous year. Despite the increase in production, Wisconsin remained in third place in the nation, due to a 21 percent fall in Minnesota’s production. Processing pea production in the U.S. dropped 10 percent to 356,050 tons.
The state’s cucumbers for pickle production jumped 27 percent in 2013. Harvested acreage rose by 600, and yields were up 14 percent. U.S. production, at 473,140 tons, was down 1 percent from a year ago.