Watch for more kidney beans and cabbage from Wisconsin

Consumer demand is leading to the growth of two specialty crops in Wisconsin. 

Tamas Houlihan with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association tells Brownfield more of his members are adding cabbage to their crop rotations. “We’re hearing that there’s going to be an expansion in cabbage production. The Great Lakes Kraut Company is expanding and they will be growing more cabbage for kraut in Wisconsin.”

Jason Culotta with the Midwest Food Products Association confirms the world’s largest sauerkraut plant in northeastern Wisconsin is growing. “Great Lakes Kraut, which recently spun off to a new company called Fermented Food Holdings, and FFH, Fermented Food Holdings, they are actually bringing some production of additional sauerkraut into Wisconsin from other locations.”

Another crop Houlihan expects to see more of in the central sands is dark red kidney beans, saying Chippewa Valley Bean in northwestern Wisconsin has reached out to some growers, but many growers are reluctant to plant them. “They were hoping that the price would be a little more competitive, and so we haven’t seen a huge adoption of dark red kidney beans by the potato growers, but I think we are seeing small, incremental increases.”

Culotta says Chippewa Valley Bean has been growing a lot of beans in Minnesota and they’re looking to expand into areas like Wisconsin’s central sands region.  Houlihan says Chippewa Valley Bean is a great partner, and over time, he expects to see more potato growers adding kidney beans to their crop rotations.

Audio: Tamas Houlihan from the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association on cabbage and kidney bean expansion.

Audio: Jason Culotta with the Midwest Food Products Association with information about expanded sauerkraut production and kidney bean demand

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