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Business & Economics

Vegetables Make Wisconsin Near Top Producer

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A recent report from UW-Whitewater found Wisconsin's potato crop has a $522 million dollar  impact on the state's economy. But an industry spokesperson says that is just the beginning.

Tamas Houlihan is Communications Director for the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association headquartered in Antigo....

"....Wisconsin is the third-leading producer of potatoes in the United States, behind only Idaho and Washington state...."

An other statistic not widely known is Wisconsin is a national leader among other vegetable crops...

"....we are one of the top states in terms of producing vegetables for processing....canned and frozen vegetables...we're number one in the nation in snap beans..we're number two in carrots, we're number three in sweet corn and peas....

Houlihan says the potato crop this year was  average because of a mix of weather conditions, first, the cold spring...

"....the crop got in the ground a couple of weeks later than usual. We did have a good growing season, it was a little dry, believe it or not, in July. But then we got tons of rain in August, and now we've had on and off rain and dry weather in September...."

Houlihan says up to 5 percent of the crop could be left in the ground unharvested because some fields have 'too wet' conditions. The potatoes are likely to rot even if harvested.

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