Ed note: Though we cover a range of demographic topics, we hold a special spot in our hearts for our annual report on NC’s state vegetable, the humble sweet potato. Previous coverage:2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014. Happy Thanksgiving!
The year of 2020 has been an especially challenging year for the fresh vegetable industry due to the the historic wildfires over the West Coast; the August storms in the Northern Midwest, and Hurricane Laura’s affect on Louisiana. Sweet potatoes were also adversely affected by these weather events. North Carolina, which continues to be the nation’s leader in sweet potato production, also hit with excessive rain at the end of the growing season in 2020.
North Carolina has once again been identified as the #1 sweet potato producer in the United States as the USDA Agricultural Statistics Service 2020 data show. NC has maintained its first place sweet potato rank since 1971.
Four NC counties produced more than 100 million pounds of sweet potatoes in 2020: Sampson (259M), Nash (187M), Wilson (181M), and Johnston (155M).
North Carolina produced 1.7 billion pounds of sweet potatoes in 2020. Considering all the climate challenges that the farms faced, this is a promising number, despite a 0.3 decrease from the last couple of years (2 billion). That would make approximately 850 million sweet potato casseroles (and involve more than 557 million pounds of marshmallows.)
North Carolina’s sweet potatoes have generated a value of approximately $375 million in 2020 alone. This is a 15.7% increase from 2019 ($324 million). Sweet potatoes are ranked the third most valuable crop of NC in 2020—the first being soybeans ($674 million) and the second, corn ($483 million).
Need help understanding population change and its impacts on your community or business? Carolina Demography offers demographic research tailored to your needs.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial consultation.Contact Us
Categories: NC in Focus
Our material helped the NC Local News Lab Fund better understand and then prioritize their funding to better serve existing and future grant recipients in North Carolina. The North Carolina Local News Lab Fund was established in 2017 to strengthen…
The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), which serves over 160,000 students, is the largest public school district in North Carolina. To better prepare for school siting needs, WCPSS asked Carolina Demography to project long-range forecasts (10-year) of school enrollment…
Alamance Community College (ACC) is a public community college with campuses in Graham, North Carolina and Burlington, North Carolina. They asked Carolina Demography to help them understand what they would need to know in order to plan for recruitment, enrollment…
Your support is critical to our mission of measuring, understanding, and predicting population change and its impact. Donate to Carolina Demography today.