Wisconsin Agriculture is Changing • Early Statehood (1848) Photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society – 20,000 farms averaged less than 100 acres each – 30,000 residents – 2 out of 3 lived on a farm – Farm life was difficult Farm chores in the winter of 1866
Wisconsin Agriculture is Changing • World War I – Farming became quite profitable – it attracted new investments, new young farmers, and immigrants to work in the fields and dairies Photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society Agricultural prosperity following the depression of the 1890s
Wisconsin Agriculture is Changing • Great Depression – Farms lost 1/3 of value – Wages plummeted 70% – Prices for grain and livestock dropped 45% – Number of farms peaked at 200,000 in 1935 Photo courtesy Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives Dust storms in Adams County, 1925
Wisconsin Agriculture is Changing • Post-World War II – Increased mechanization and development of highyield hybrids, fertilizers and pesticides – Pressure for farms to specialize and grow in size to meet demands of national and global markets Photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society Baling hay with Farmall tractor and McCormick baler
Wisconsin Agriculture is Changing • Modern Agriculture – 78,000 farms on 15.2 million acres – $9 billion in sales – Less than 3% of residents live on a farm – Mid-sized farms are being replaced by large commercial operations and small, part-time residential farms Photo courtesy Portland State University Contour stripcropping
Farm Typology Number of Farms (78,463 farms) Land Owned (15.2 million acres) Market Value of Sales ($9.2 billion) Rural Residence Farm – sales less than $250,000 and operator with primary occupation other than farming. Intermediate Farm – sales less than $250,000 and operator with primary occupation of farming. Commercial Farm – sales greater than $250,000 or hired manager, non-family corporate structure, or cooperative structure.
Wisconsin Dairy • Despite losing nearly twothirds of all dairy farms over the last 25 years, dairy remains Wisconsin’s largest agricultural sector. • Dairy farms account for 4.8 million acres of land and $5.2 billion dollars in sales. • Wisconsin ranks first nationally in the production of cheese and dry whey, and second in the production of milk and butter.
Wisconsin Livestock • Farms dedicated to raising livestock and poultry account for 2.8 million acres of land and $1.5 billion dollars in sales. • Wisconsin ranks first nationally in the number of milk goats, second in milk cows, seventh in trout, and ninth in cattle and calves.
Wisconsin Crops Land Cover Urban Water Wetlands Woodlands Corn Grains, Hay and Alfalfa Idle, CRP, Fallow, Pasture Other Crops Soybeans Food Manufacturing Fruit, Vegetable and Grain Manufacturing Facilities • Crops cover 10 million acres of land. • Predominant uses are: corn for grain (32%), hay and forage (27%), and soybeans (13%). • Wisconsin ranks first nationally in the production of corn for silage, second in oats, and third in forage.
Crop Cover by County Cropland as Percent of Total Land Cover 0% - 15% 16% - 30% 31% - 45% 46% - 60% 61% - 84% Acres Cropland 10,116,279 Selected Field Crops Corn for Grain 3,250,847 Soybeans for Beans 1,363,124 Corn for Silage 732,626 Wheat for Grain 280,464 Oats for Grain 166,794 Other Crops Vegetables 291,223 Orchards and Berries 30,215 Hay and Forage 2,797,497 Woodland Permanent Pasture and Rangeland 1,065,814 Farm Buildings, Roads, etc. 1,088,497 All Land in Farms 15,190,804
Specialty Crops Specialty Crops by Acreage, 2007 • Farming of specialty crops – in most cases, the food we eat – accounts for just 400,000 acres or 4% of total cropland. • Wisconsin ranks first nationally in the production of cranberries, ginseng and snap beans for processing and second in the production of carrots for processing and sweet corn for processing.
Specialty Crops Percent of Total Cropland 0% - 1% 2% - 3% 4% - 7% 8% - 14% 15% - 35% CSAs per County 1 2-3 4-6 7 - 13 Farmers’ Market Viticultural Area • Wisconsin has experienced growth in farmers’ markets, CSAs, and other direct farmto-consumer sales. • There are significant barriers to growing and marketing specialty crops: – start-up costs, – lack of processing facilities, – need for collection, distribution and storage sites.
Organic Agriculture Organic Processors/ Handlers (216) Certified Organic Farms (1,111) • Over the last decade, the number of organic farms and acres roughly doubled, while organic product sales increased five-fold. • In 2007, organic agriculture constituted 1 percent of total farms and acres, and 1.5% of agricultural sales.
Agricultural Bioenergy Agricultural Bioenergy Facilities Biodiesel Ethanol - Active Ethanol - Stalled Manure Digester • Corn ethanol and soybased biodiesel supply 15% of Wisconsin’s annual consumption of 3.2 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel. • The state has 24 farmbased anaerobic digester systems.