The United Crops of America

By Brandie Piper, Monsanto Corporate Engagement
Sep 15, 2015 11:00 AM ET

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)

Arizona – lettuce (USDA)
Arizona is a good place to grow lettuce because it likes hot climates with a lot of sun and needs to be lightly watered frequently.

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 is No. 1 in peanuts and tied for No. 2 in blueberry production. It comes in fourth for peaches.

Hawaii – macadamias (USDA)
The macadamia nut was introduced to Hawaii in 1881 by a 23-year-old Scottish man who enjoyed collecting plants.

Idaho – potatoes (USDA)

Illinois – pumpkins (USDA)
About 90 percent of U.S. ornamental pumpkin production is in Illinois.

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)

Louisiana – Tabasco peppers (USDA)
Up until the 1960s, Avery Island, La., was the only place in the world to grow Tabasco peppers. They’re now also grown in Latin America.

Maine – blueberries (USDA)

Maryland – watermelon (USDA)

Massachusetts – cranberries (USDA)

Michigan – tart cherries (USDA)

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 Mexico – chile peppers (USDA)
The state calls itself the “Chile Capital of the World.”

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)

South Dakota – oats (USDA)
South Dakota is a leader in United States oat production because of the state’s cool climate.

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.

Wisconsin – cranberries (USDA)
In 2012 the state produced more than 4.5 million barrels of cranberries.

Wyoming – dry edible beans (USDA)