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Farm News: Cabbage Fields Sour Saukerkraut Outlook


Posted: 08.17.2010

This weeks latest crop quality update didn't have any "new" information for the states corn or soybean crops.  If anything - the question of how early combines might roll is being discussed more.

But our specialty crops got some attention.

For example, after the state projected a 20 percent drop in Wisconsin's apple crop - growers are now coming forward verifying that report. Lower apple yields were reported in Chippewa county - and smaller apple size in Oneida county.  With the increased heat the state experienced last week - some are also wondering if the picking season will be early.  Pam Jahnke will be researching that story this afternoon - so check back.

Then there's the cabbage.  Not a crop that necessarily gets a lot of attention in the state - surprising since Wisconsin's one of the national leaders in cabbage production.  Growers in northeast Wisconsin say cabbage fields there are still very wet, and that the round vegetables are beginning to rot where they stand.  Not good news for Wisconsin's saukerkraut industry.

Wisconsin and New York lead the nation in sauerkraut production - based largely on our ethnic heritage.  It takes only about a tenth of head of cabbage to fill a 14 ounce can. One processor in Wisconsin is responsible for producing almost 150,000 ton of sauerkraut every year - a pretty sizeable number when you realize there's only about 185,000 ton of raw cabbage harvested each year nationwide! 

Worldwide, more than one billion servings of sauerkraut is consumed every year. Two out of three Americans eat sauerkraut on a regular basis—that translates into about 1.5 pounds of sauerkraut a year. In Germany, the average consumption is 3.74 pounds of kraut a year!

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