Compared to the last analysis, which explored data for 2012, the economic contribution of agriculture has increased across all four measures of economic activity. On-farm activity, however, was not a major contributor to this increase and is likely a reflection of weak commodity prices in 2017. The majority of the increase in the contribution of agriculture came through recent strong growth in food processing
The challenge facing Wisconsin agriculture is that on-farm activity and food processing are “two sides to the same coin” and as one does better the other does better. The continued weak net farm income may put the food processing industry at risk. There is a clear balancing act between ensuring a healthy farm economy while continuing to promote growth in food processing.