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Wisconsin produced about 4.17 million barrels of cranberries in 2021.
The next closest state was Massachusetts, which produced only about 2 million barrels.
Wisconsin is known as the dairy state, with farms dotting the countryside.
But did you know the state is also known for another crop?
"Wisconsin is the nation’s top cranberry producer — in fact, our farmers harvest around 60 percent of the country’s crop," Gov. Tony Evers said in a Dec. 28, 2022, tweet.
We knew Wisconsin was a top cranberry producer, but wondered about the proportion of the nation’s crop. After all, we are only the second largest producer of the nation’s milk.
Let’s take a quick look.
When we reached out to Evers’ team, spokesperson Britt Cudaback pointed us to the Cranberries Annual Summary report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistic Service.
(Yes, there is such a thing.)
"Wisconsin maintained its number one ranking in total cranberry production with 59 percent of the nation’s total production," the 2021 report said. "Wisconsin total production was more than twice that of the next highest producing state, Massachusetts."
According to the report, Wisconsin produced 4.17 billion barrels of cranberries in 2021. In comparison, Massachusetts produced just more than 2 million barrels. The numbers for 2022 have not yet been released.
The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association echoed the numbers.
"Wisconsin is the nation’s leading producer of cranberries, harvesting more than 60 percent of the country’s crop," according to the association’s website. "The little red berry, Wisconsin’s official state fruit, is the state’s number one fruit crop, both in size and economic value."
As for why Wisconsin produces so many cranberries, we can thank the state’s soil composition.
"The sand and peat marshes in central and northern Wisconsin create the perfect growing conditions for cranberries," the Cranberry Growers Association site says.
The cranberry industry brings in about $1 billion, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and employs nearly 4,000 people. Cranberry marshes cover about 21,000 acres of the state, and are a part of more than 250 farms.
Evers claimed that Wisconsin is the top cranberry producer in the United States, growing nearly 60% of the crop.
Those figures are on the money. Wisconsin has more than twice the cranberry production of the next highest-producing state, Massachusetts.
We rate this claim True.
Tony Evers, Twitter, Dec. 28, 2022
Email exchange with Britt Cudaback, Jan. 27, 2023
U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Statistics Service, "Wisconsin Ag News - Cranberries," May 4, 2022
Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, "About cranberries," Jan. 30, 2023
University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Wisconsin cranberries: Supporting a billion-dollar industry," Feb. 1, 2023
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