1. Dairy Products
In 2016, Michigan ranked fifth in milk production in the nation, with dairy cows in the state producing 1.27 billion $1.6B gallons of milk. The average Michigan cow produces 25,957 pounds of milk each year, which equals just over 3,000 gallons. Dairy products brought the state $1.6 billion in annual cash receipts.
Field corn is Michigan’s most abundant crop, with more than 310 million bushels grown annually. Field corn accounts for about 99 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. Corn brought the state $1.1 billion in annual cash receipts.
Nearly 2 million acres of soybeans are planted each year in Michigan on more than 10,000 farms. Most of the state’s soybeans are grown for use in animal feed, but some soybeans are used in Michigan soyfoods and products like cleaners, lotions, candles, crayons and cosmetics. Soybeans brought in $938.9 million in annual cash receipts.
4. Cattle and Calves
Michigan’s cattle herd totals 1.14 million head, of which 120,000 are beef cows and 425,000 are dairy cows. Cattle are raised in 80 of Michigan’s 83 counties on about 13,000 farms and ranches. Cattle and calves generated $529.1 million in annual cash receipts.
5. Chicken Eggs
Michigan’s family-owned and -operated egg farms care for more than 15 million hens, and the state ranks sixth in the nation in egg production. Additionally, Michigan farmers raise over 6.2 million broilers annually. Chicken eggs brought the state $358.9 million in annual cash receipts.
In 2016, Michigan was home to more than 1.1 million hogs on more than 2,000 farms. Virtually all pig farms in the state are family owned and have been in the same family for generations. Hogs brought in $308.1 million in annual cash receipts.
More than one billion pounds of apples were harvested in Michigan in 2016. There are more than 11.3 million apple trees in commercial production across the state, covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms. Apples generated $293.5 million in annual cash receipts.
8. Sugar Beets
Michigan farmers harvested nearly 160,000 acres of sugar beets in 2016, which totaled 4.9 million tons and resulted in 1.1 billion pounds of sugar. Sugar beets generated $211 million in annual cash receipts.
Michigan is home to more than 6,000 wheat farmers in more than 50 counties, with Huron, Sanilac, Lenawee, Tuscola and Saginaw counties being the top producers. More than 500,000 acres of wheat are planted across the state each year. Wheat brought the state $205.3 million in annual cash receipts.
Michigan is the nation’s leading producer of potatoes for potato chip processing, and Montcalm County is the largest potato-producing county in the state. In 2016, nearly 2 billion pounds of potatoes were harvested from as far south as Monroe County to as far north as Iron County in the Upper Peninsula. Potatoes generated annual cash receipts totaling $174.3 million.