Whether it’s Parmesan, mozzarella, or cheddar, the state of Wisconsin still holds the title in cheese production. In 2017, America’s Dairyland broke their record, producing 3.37 million pounds of cheese.
For the 16th straight year, Wisconsin has come in as the leading cheese state according to a recent report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Services.
Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheese, was 12.7 billion pounds, 3.9 percent above 2016 production. Wisconsin claims 26.6 percent of that. California was second with just over 2.5 billion pounds, a production decrease of less than 1 percent.
When it comes to cheese preferences, Italian is still on top with 5.38 billion pounds. Italian varieties were up 1.5 percent above 2016 production and accounted for 42.5 percent of total cheese in 2017. Mozzarella accounted for 77.3 percent, followed by Parmesan with 8.4 percent, and Provolone 7.4 percent. The “Cheesehead” state was the leading state in Italian cheese production with 31.6 percent of the production.
American type cheese production came in next with 5.07 billion pounds, 6.4 percent above 2016 and accounting for 40.1 percent of total cheese in 2017. Wisconsin was the leading state in American type cheese production with 20.0 percent of production.
Wisconsin also increased the number of plants that manufacture dairy. The state now boasts 132 cheese factories, with 41 of them putting out 87.3 percent of the state’s cheese.