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States producing the most maple syrup, corn and other major crops

  • States producing the most maple syrup, corn, and other major crops

    America’s farming industry contributed more than $130 billion to the country's gross domestic product in 2017. The agricultural industry as a whole would rank as the 16th largest economy in the world, just behind Mexico, injecting more than $1 trillion annually.

    To find out which states produce the majority of crops, Stacker compiled a list of 75 crops and ranked the states that produce the most of each in 2019. Production values are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s state agricultural summaries as of Feb. 26, 2020. Data for some state’s production of a certain crop was not available, to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

    California was the top-producing state for many of the crops on the list and accounted for 100% of reported production among 10 of those crops. Stacker also looked to the website for The Packer, a leading fresh produce retail and foodservice newspaper that's been publishing for over 100 years, for information regarding production levels and trends across North America.

    Under the administration of President Donald Trump, several trade wars have had a major impact on agriculture production in the United States. In July 2018, China enacted a 25% tariff on soybeans and other products, dropping overall agricultural exports to China to $5.9 billion in 2018, down from $15.8 billion the previous year.

    Corresponding tariffs on steel also raised farming production costs, including a 6% increase in the cost of equipment. In response, the Trump administration approved a $28 billion bailout for farmers affected by trade wars, although investigations have been launched to look into the mismanagement of funds that left some feeling slighted.

    Some relief may be in sight for farmers though, as the two countries signed the Phase I U.S.-China trade deal in January, which will lift some of the tariffs. China also agreed to purchase nearly $40 billion worth of agricultural goods this year alone.

    In the end, California takes the cake as the top producer of 36 out of the 75 crops. Keep reading to see which states produce the most maple syrup, corn, and other major crops.

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  • Almonds

    - Total production: $5.5 billion
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $5.5 billion (100% of reported production)

    California is all about almond orchards, as the greatest global producer of the hard-shelled nut. In 2018, the Golden State launched new markets in Mexico, Japan, and Italy, while the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle called the crop her go-to food while prepping for the royal wedding. In February, Almond Board of California CEO Richard Waycott touted 2020 as a record-breaking year for the nut, as consumers choose healthy snacks over saturated fats. As of late, President Trump's unfavorable trade negotiations with India may affect almond tariffs.

  • Apples

    - Total production: $3 billion
    - Top states:
    --- #1. Washington: $2.2 billion (72.5% of reported production)
    --- #2. Michigan: $294.4 million (9.8%)
    --- #3. New York: $262.3 million (8.7%)
    --- #4. Pennsylvania: $107.6 million (3.6%)
    --- #5. California: $71 million (2.4%)

    Washington gets the biggest bite out of the apple for the Garden of Eden fruit, with 125 million boxes bringing in $2.2 billion annually. Packer reports a 20% increase from 2018, adding that in 2019, another 137.3 million boxes were produced, with 18.3 million strictly organic. Like almonds, apple tariffs teeter, making future costs unsure for the high-fiber and sodium-free crop that's a big-budget item from California to New York.

  • Apricots

    - Total production: $48.5 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $38.1 million (78.5% of reported production)
    --- #2. Washington: $10.4 million (21.5%)

    The Economic Times reports proposed tariffs on apricots under the Trump administration will remain under the scrutiny of India and China. As part of the Prunus family, the apricot, which originated in China, was developed further in the Mediterranean and migrated to Virginia, to become the state fruit after Spanish missionaries carried it to California in the 1700s. Globally, dried apricots expect to produce $836 million by 2026, proving the easily-bruised, fibrous fruit is highly profitable.

  • Artichokes

    - Total production: $63 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $63 million (100% of reported production)

    Ecuador is asking America to cease artichoke levies in hopes of boosting trade and investment. The perennial crop, most fruitful in mild winter regions like California, can be cultivated in a greenhouse in colder regions. The abundant uses for the antioxidant-rich plant include medical research, tea, liquor, and cooking. An NBC report articulates the rise in the artichoke market, predicting considerable overall growth by 2023.

  • Asparagus

    - Total production: $87.6 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $26.6 million (30.3% of reported production)
    --- #2. Washington: $26.2 million (29.9%)
    --- #3. Michigan: $23.3 million (26.6%)
    --- #4. New Jersey: $11.6 million (13.2%)

    Vice President Mike Pence pointed out that asparagus farmers suffer from trade tariffs; however, the pain is slight according to iPolitics, which reports China plans to cease levies on the sparrow grass, bringing them back to pre-tariff September 2019 prices. Meanwhile, the demand for the vitamin A- and calcium-rich crop is growing with foodies and at-home chefs. The medicinal properties and taste of the perennial are first cultivated in a greenhouse, before being rooted outside.

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  • Avocados

    - Total production: $400.4 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $383.5 million (95.8% of reported production)
    --- #2. Florida: $15.3 million (3.8%)
    --- #3. Hawaii: $1.6 million (0.4%)

    The globe's largest avocado producer California cultivates almost 100% of the country's crop, which is botanically a fleshy-pulp fruit, but branded a vegetable by the USDA. The once-royal delicacy derived from a tree remains expensive today due to droughts and heat waves. The Trump administration threatens even higher crop costs, due to unfavorable trade conditions with Mexico.

  • Barley

    - Total production: $697.6 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. Idaho: $269.3 million (38.6% of reported production)
    --- #2. Montana: $155.2 million (22.3%)
    --- #3. North Dakota: $120.8 million (17.3%)
    --- #4. Colorado: $35 million (5%)
    --- #5. Wyoming: $24.1 million (3.5%)

    Barley equals beer, making demand for the crop consistent. As a member of the grass family, the grain is a tasty breakfast food, with cereal production projecting to grow substantially by 2023 due to health and convenience factors. As the top producer, Idaho cultivated 54.08 million bushels in 2019, with Montana second at 43.66 million bushels. Barley is one of the first refined grains and grows in various climates.

  • Beans

    - Total production: $351.9 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $69 million (19.6% of reported production)
    --- #2. Florida: $58.7 million (16.7%)
    --- #3. Wisconsin: $47.9 million (13.6%)
    --- #4. New York: $34 million (9.7%)
    --- #5. Georgia: $28 million (8%)

    Though trade tensions between China and the United States remain, China lifted levies on soybeans and pork at the end of 2019. While California is the top contender for bean production, Wisconsin is number one in snap bean production, dedicating up to 63,500 acres to the crop in the Badger State that produces nearly 300,000 tons, equaling $29.1 million. After being planted in moist soil, which must stay above 65 F, bean seeds soften and germinate, eventually creating a tap root to anchor growth.

  • Blueberries

    - Total production: $820.5 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. Oregon: $180.7 million (22% of reported production)
    --- #2. California: $139.8 million (17%)
    --- #3. Washington: $139.2 million (17%)
    --- #4. Georgia: $87.3 million (10.6%)
    --- #5. Michigan: $70.2 million (8.6%)

    Maine’s Sen. Angus King called out the Trump administration in 2019 for not including the state’s wild blueberry farmers in the $12 billion aid to farmers who’ve suffered from trade wars. Meanwhile, Oregon remains the top producer of blueberries, which are rich in nutrients and taste, and cultivated in rows of high bushes that are harvested between mid-June and mid-August throughout North America. The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council reports the tiny fruit is popular in concentrated, dried, pureed and frozen forms, while Produce Business reports up to 65% of women between the ages of 25 and 44 purchase the little balls of fruit biweekly.

  • Broccoli

    - Total production: $738.5 million
    - Top states:
    --- #1. California: $679.4 million (92% of reported production)
    --- #2. Arizona: $59.1 million (8%)

    The large, flower-head plant from the cabbage family is considered a cool-weather crop, growing best between 64 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Branded a brain food, broccoli doesn't have a long U.S. history, as it has only been grown in America since 1925. Almost a century later, California remains the top producer of broccoli, the 13th top commodity in the state.

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