As Wisconsin's farmers complete the last stages of their crop harvesting for 2013, the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service has released a report detailing the state's rankings and production in 2012 for its major and minor crops.
The dairy sector accounted for four of the eight number one rankings for Wisconsin agricultural production in 2012. Those are for the total production of cheese, for both American and Muenster varieties of cheese, and for dry whey made for human food.
During 2012, Wisconsin set a record with its production of nearly 2.79 billion pounds of cheese, which accounted for 25.6 percent of the total for the United States. This included 829.806 million pounds of American-type cheeses and 52.956 million pounds of Muenster, which was nearly 35 percent of the national total.
The state's production of 289.694 million pounds of dry whey for human consumption was just over 30 percent of the nation's output.
Wisconsin's milk production of 27.224 billion pounds in 2012 was a state record, which provided 13.6 percent of the national total. The state also ranked second among the states with its production of nearly 1.404 billion pounds of Italian cheese varieties and its 951.571 million pounds of Mozzarella cheese. California continued to claim the top spot among the states for all three of those categories.
As of the Jan. 1, 2013 inventory, Wisconsin's 1.27 million dairy cows also stood in second place after California among the states. For all cattle and calves, however, the state ranked no better than 8th with its 3.45 million head in a category where Texas had the highest total.
Wisconsin continued to the lead way with its 46,000 milk goats during 2012. They accounted for 12.8 percent of the nation's total.
The 14.21 million tons of corn that Wisconsin farmers harvested for silage in 2012 kept the state in first place in that category. Wisconsin also continued its dominance in cranberry production by accounting for 58.6 percent of the nation's with the 4.5 million barrels that were harvested in 2012.
The state also had the most carrots for processing with its 119,000 tons (37 percent of the national total) and the most snap beans for processing with its 318,000 tons (43.4 percent of the national harvest). Wisconsin stood in second place, behind Minnesota, with its 7.8 million bushels of oats harvested in 2012.
Third places among the states were earned by Wisconsin's agricultural sector in 2012 for the 586,000 tons of sweet corn harvested for processing, for the 66,000 tons for green peas that were processed, for the 29.44 million hundredweights of potatoes that were harvested, and for the dry weight equivalent of 6.647 million tons of forage crops.
Wisconsin also ranked relatively high with its 5th place on 30,000 tons of cucumbers for pickling, 5th on 470,000 pounds of 12-inch or longer trout that were sold, 6th with 291,000 pounds of mint for oil, 6th with 1.7 million pounds of tart cherries, 8th on 522,000 hundredweight of onions, and 8th for 50,000 gallons of maple syrup.
Ninth places were achieved for 31,000 hundredweight of strawberries, 750,000 hundredweight of cabbage for fresh market sales, and 4.347 million pounds of honey.
Among its other major crops, the state's rankings were 7th with its 399.3 million bushels of corn harvested for grain, 14th for its 70.55 million bushels of soybeans, 19th with 660,000 bushels of barley, and 24th for its 18.375 million bushels of wheat.