50 State Agricultural Rankings

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The tables below offer information about Wisconsin agriculture from the general agricultural groups to the more specific commodities or products. The ranking assigned to a given commodity is based on the commodity's cash receipts; how much money it made.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004

As you can see from the table below, Wisconsin ranks 9th among the states for total agricultural production. Major production in the livestock category, particularly dairy products, make Wisconsin a top ten state for livestock products and total agricultural production.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004
Product Group Value ($1,000) % State total State rank
All commodities 6,864,150 100.0% 9
Livestock & livestock products 5,082,427 74.0% 7
Crops 1,781,723 26.0% 21
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Wisconsin's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004

This table lists Wisconsin's top commodities in each of Wisconsin's two agriculutural groups, livestock and crops.

Wisconsin's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004
Livestock products % State total Crop products % State total
Dairy products 53.7% Corn for grain 9.7%
Cattle and calves 11.7% Greenhouse/nursery 3.5%
Hogs 1.7% Soybeans 3.5%
Broilers (9-12 week old chickens) 1.0% Potatoes 2.3%
Chicken eggs 0.8% Cranberries 1.7%
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Primarily a livestock products state, Wisconsin is, overwhelmingly, a dairy products machine. Over 1/2 of the state's total agricultural production is in dairy product. Cattle and calves are also important sources of revenue. Rounding out the top five in the livestock products category are hogs, broilers and eggs.

Wisconsin's number one crop is grain corn. Greenhouse and nursery products along with soybeans are important as are, to a lesser degree, potatoes and cranberries.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004

This table offers a more complete view of the most important agricultural products of Wisconsin.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004
Product Value ($1,000) % State Value
1. Dairy products 3,687,749 53.7%
2. Cattle and calves 800,703 11.7%
3. Corn for grain 668,997 9.7%
4. Greenhouse/nursery 237,404 3.5%
5. Soybeans 236,901 3.5%
6. Potatoes 161,014 2.3%
7. Hogs 118,619 1.7%
8. Cranberries 114,253 1.7%
9. Hay 72,910 1.1%
10. Broilers (9-12 week old chickens) 68,445 1.0%
11. Chicken eggs 56,679 0.8%
12. Corn, sweet 46,292 0.7%
13. Wheat 42,781 0.6%
14. Beans, snap 37,095 0.5%
15. Apples 19,010 0.3%
16. Peas, green 14,655 0.2%
17. Honey 7,778 0.1%
18. Oats 7,605 0.1%
19. Tobacco 7,430 0.1%
20. Aquaculture 6,865 0.1%
21. Sheep and lambs 6,323 0.1%
22. Cabbage 6,111 0.1%
23. Strawberries 5,125 0.1%
24. Carrots 5,087 0.1%
Turkeys *    
* Commodities at the bottom of the above ranked list of commodities and having no accompanying data would have appeared within the ranked list of leading commodities, but were excluded to avoid disclosure of confidential information about individual producers.
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

The 2004 table above contains information about Wisconsin agricultural production provided by the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture.

The first column of the table lists the product (commodity).

The second column of the table lists a number representing the dollar value of the product. This number is not the dollar value of the product. This number represents the dollar value of the product in thousands of dollars. For example, the number listed for Wisconsin's number one commodity, dairy products, is 3,687,749. This number represents a dollar value of $3,687,749,000 (3,687,749 x 1,000): three billion, six hundred and eighty-seven million, seven hundred and forty-nine thousand dollars.

The third column of the table lists the percent (part) of the total agricultural value produced in Wisconsin. For example, dairy products account for 53.7 of Wisconsin's total agricultural production value. The dollars generated by dairy products in the state add up to over 1/2 of Wisconsin's total agricultural production.

National ranking highlights - 2004

  • Ranks first in production of cranberries (53% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of snap beans (9% of U.S. production).

Wisconsin farms and farmland - 2004

Because of different rounding methods (e.g., farm acres given by the National Argriculture Statistics Service), percentage of farmland per state should be considered a rough estimate.

Wisconsin farms and farmland - 2004
Number of farms Total farm acres Percent of state Average farm size (acres)
76,500 15,529,500 45% 203
Source: USDA:National Agriculture Statistics Service

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