Wisconsin exports set record in 2022, DATCP reports

Dairy cows at a farm. Free public domain CC0 image.

Wisconsin food, forestry and agriculture product exports set a record in 2022, according to U.S. Census trade data. Exports were shipped to 142 countries totaling nearly $4.22 billion, a 7% increase from the previous record in 2021, accordng to a press release from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

U.S. Census data shows that dairy product exports totaled $617 million, up 32% from 2021, the highest level on record and more than $100 million above the previous record year in 2014. Crop products, including grains, wood and vegetables increased more than 5% to $2.82 billion, a 10-year high. Meat products declined 2% to $782 million.

In total, U.S. agricultural exports exceeded $220 billion in 2022, up 10% from the year prior. Wisconsin now ranks 12th in the nation for agricultural exports.

“This record-breaking year again presents an opportunity to strengthen our state as a leader in agricultural exports,” DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski said in a statement. “Building off of last year, this momentum, the investments of Governor Evers, and the work of DATCP’s International Agribusiness Center positions Wisconsin agribusinesses well for the next year.”

Gov. Tony Evers has advocated for strategic investments in Wisconsin’s agricultural exports, and the 2021-23 budget marked the first time that state funding was allocated to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) International Agribusiness Center (IABC) to promote Wisconsin agriculture exports. The funding, which received bipartisan support in the state legislature, supported IABC initiatives that create opportunities, facilitate connections, and help eliminate barriers for new and existing exporters. This support helps Wisconsin agribusinesses build on their success and develop pathways to new markets. Gov. Evers recently proposed his 2023-25 budget, which proposes further investments in Wisconsin’s agricultural exports.

The latest release of U.S. Census data shows that post-pandemic demand is driving export growth in several markets as logistics challenges decrease, DATCP said. Wisconsin’s top five markets, making up more than two-thirds of total exports, are Canada, China, Mexico, Korea and Japan. Canada, Mexico and Korea showed double-digit increases in 2022, while Japan remained unchanged from 2021.