News | August 31, 2016
The United Crops of America
The United States has a diverse climate and the ability to grow all kinds of crops throughout the country. And while farmers in most of the United States grow a lot of corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton (these crops, called “commodity” or “row” crops, account for almost 240 million acres of the 325 million acres planted to crops), farmers also grow a wide range of fruits and vegetables, from apples to lettuce to pumpkins, and everything in between.
Some states lead in the production of crops that may surprise you. For example, many people associate Georgia with peaches, because, well, it’s the “The Peach State.” But Georgia actually ranks fourth in the country for peach production. Its top crop is peanuts, and Georgia is tied for second in blueberry production. And while Illinois battles Iowa for the top spot in corn and soybean production every year, “The Land of Lincoln” produces the most pumpkins of any state.
Here is a map showing the top produce crop in each state, and below that, you’ll find the list. We tried to stick with fruits and vegetables as much as possible. At the link following each crop, you’ll find more information from the United States Department of Agriculture about the crops grown in each state.
Did we miss the mark on any state and crop? Let us know on Twitter @MonsantoCo.
Alabama – peanuts (USDA)
Alaska – potatoes (USDA)
It might seem like a strange crop to grow in a climate generally thought of as cold but potatoes are one of the easier vegetables to grow and can be farmed in various environmental conditions.
Arkansas – rice (USDA)
California – grapes (USDA)
California grew more than 6.8 million tons of grapes in 2014. Grapes are classified by table, wine and raisin types.
Colorado – potatoes (USDA)
Connecticut – apples (USDA)
Delaware – watermelon (USDA)
Florida – oranges (USDA)
Georgia – peanuts (USDA)
Georgia might be known for its peaches, but that crop actually ranks fourth. The top crop in Georgia is peanuts, followed by blueberries. More than 45 percent of the United States’ peanuts come from the state.
Idaho – potatoes (USDA)
Illinois – pumpkins (USDA)
Illinois grows more ornamental (carving) and processing (eating) pumpkins than any other state. In 2012, the state harvested 16,200 acres of pumpkins; that’s about 90 percent of the United States’ pumpkin production. The state is at the top for pumpkins because of its climate and soil types.
Indiana – tomatoes (USDA)
Iowa – green peas (KCCI-TV)
Kansas – Sandhill plums (The Wichita Eagle)
Sandhill plums are found all over the state, and are small; they range in size from a dime to a quarter.
Kentucky – watermelon (University of Kentucky)
Maine – blueberries (USDA)
Maryland – watermelon (USDA)
Massachusetts – cranberries (USDA)
Michigan – tart cherries (USDA)
If you’ve ever had a Michigan cherry, you understand why the fruit is so popular. The state produces tart cherries for cooking and sweet cherries for eating. Most of the cherries are grown in the state’s northwest counties.
Minnesota – Honeycrisp apples (Minnesota Legislative Reference Library)
The Honeycrisp apple was developed at the University of Minnesota by breeders who wanted to develop an apple that would grow well in cold climates.
Mississippi – sweet potatoes (USDA)
Missouri – watermelon (USDA)
Montana – dry peas (USDA)
Nebraska – dry, edible beans (USDA)
Nevada – potatoes (USDA)
New Hampshire – apples (USDA)
New Jersey – blueberries (USDA)
New York – apples (USDA)
North Carolina – sweet potatoes (USDA)
North Dakota – dry, edible beans (USDA)
Ohio – apples (USDA)
Oklahoma – peanuts (USDA)
Oregon – pears (USDA)
Pears are one of many fruits trees that grow well in Oregon’s climate.
Pennsylvania – apples (USDA)
Rhode Island – apples (USDA)
South Carolina – peaches (USDA)
Tennessee – snap peas (USDA)
Texas – rice (USDA)
Utah – cherries (USDA)
Along with cherries, Utah also produces peaches, apples, and apricots.
Vermont – maple syrup (USDA)
In 2014, trees in Vermont produced more maple syrup than in any other state, accounting for 42 percent of the country’s production. Maine and New York tied for second place, each producing 17 percent of the country’s production.
Virginia – tomatoes (USDA)
Washington – apples (USDA)
West Virginia – Golden Delicious apples (USDA)
The Golden Delicious apple is West Virginia’s state fruit. The apple was first discovered in Clay County, which holds an annual festival devoted to the apple.
Wyoming – dry edible beans (USDA)