North Carolina is once again the nation's top producer of sweet potatoes

North Carolina is once again the nation's top producer of sweet potatoes

6:00am Dec 21, 2021
North Carolina has been the nation's top producer of sweet potatoes since 1971. GERRY BROOME/AP

North Carolina is once again the nation’s top producer of sweet potatoes, a title it's held since 1971.

The state produced 1.7 billion pounds of sweet potatoes last year. That’s about 300 million pounds lower than the last few years, according to a report by research center Carolina Demography. 

A wetter than usual start to the growing season in the state may account for some of the drop. Vegetable farmers in other parts of the country struggled with adverse weather last year too. Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and wildfires in much of the west led to lower yields. 

Crop revenues did increase by about 16% from 2019. Sweet potatoes are the state’s third most valuable crop, behind soybeans and corn. 

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