Agriculture in Michigan is amazing!
Michigan’s farmers produce more than 200 food and fiber products and lead the nation in the production of 18 commodities.
July 28, 2011 - Author: Mary Dunckel, Michigan State University Extension
Michigan has nearly 10 million acres of farmland and 56,014 farms. Behind California, the state is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation. Michigan exports approximately 1/3 of its commodities annually, generating nearly $1 billion dollars.
Michigan ranks first in the nation in the production of:
- Tart cherries - producing 135 million pounds in 2010 and estimates are indicating an increase in 2011
- Blueberries - 115 million pounds of berries were harvested from 18,800 acres in 2010
- Twelve floriculture crops - including flats of seed geraniums, impatiens, petunias; hanging baskets of begonias, geraniums, impatiens and petunias; potted seed geraniums, petunias, Easter lilies; and propagative materials of bedding plants and perennials
- Pickling cucumbers - 188,500 tons or 34.7% of the 2009 United States market
- Dry beans - three varieties: cranberry, black and small red
Michigan ranks second in the nation in the production of:
- Carrots - 75% are grown for fresh market on approximately 2,000 acres while 25% of the harvest is grown for processing
- Celery - 1,900 harvested acres resulted in a 2010 crop value of $17.8 million with average yields for the fresh market averaging 25 tons/acre and celery grown for processing yielding 40-45 tons/acre
- Plums - 2010 harvest of 1,800 tons from 550 acres had a farm level value of 1 million dollars
Michigan ranks third in the nation in the production of:
- Apples - approximately 950 apple growers harvested 590 million pounds of apples including varieties of fuji, honey crisp, gala, red and golden delicious
- Asparagus - up to 25 million pounds of asparagus is produced annually and the total value of the crop is estimated to be $15,000,000
- Harvested Christmas trees - ranked behind Oregon and North Carolina, Michigan has approximately 42,000 acres in commercial Christmas tree production with an annual farm gate value of over $45 million plus an additional $1.3 million in sales of wreaths and other cut greens
Michigan is also in the top 10 for the production of 20 other commodities such as:
- Maple syrup - 4th in the nation in 2011, producing 123,000 gallons (40-50 gallons of sap is needed to produce one gallon of syrup)
- Pumpkins - ranked 6th in the nation producing nearly 10% of the U.S. total
- Milk - approximately 361,000 dairy cows in 2,100 herds produced 8.4 billion pounds of milk in 2010, resulting in an 8th place finish for total milk production in the United States
Discover more amazing facts about agriculture by visiting individual commodity websites as well as the following: