Spotlight on Michigan

September 12, 2011

While Michigan may be known for its lakes and its cars, its economy is fueled by ten million acres of land: farmland that is.

Michigan can grow more than 200 products that contribute to the nation’s food and fiber supply—making it the second most diverse agricultural state in the nation and a virtual America in miniature.

Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry, adding $6.7 billion to the state’s overall output. It supports one million domestic jobs and is one of America’s top exporters, ranking 20th in the nation in 2009.

  • Corn and soybeans each play a vital role in Michigan’s economy—corn generated $1.1 billion and soybeans generated $750 million in 2009.
  • Michigan leads the nation in the production of tart cherries, growing 266 million pounds or 74% of the U.S. total in 2009.
  • Michigan also ranks first nationally for the production of pickling cucumbers, geraniums, petunias, squash, and vegetable-type bedding plants.
  • Michigan ranks 3rd in the nation in apple production, with 1.1 billion pounds produced in 2009.
  • Michigan ranks 2nd nationally in bean, carrot, celery, and plum production, and is 3rd in asparagus production.
  • Over 833,150 tons of fresh market and processing vegetables were grown in Michigan in 2008.
  • The state ranks 8th nationally in fresh market vegetable production and 5th nationally in processed vegetable production.
  • About 355,000 dairy cows produced almost 940 million gallons of milk in 2009. Michigan ranks 8th in the nation in milk production.
  • Michigan’s hog production totaled 607 million pounds in 2009.