MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin strengthened its hold as the nation's top cheese maker by producing a record 3.37 billion pounds in 2017.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin accounted for about 26 percent of the 12.7 billion pounds of cheese produced in the U.S. last year.
Wisconsin State Journal reports that Wisconsin saw increases in Hispanic, American and Italian cheese production.
National Agricultural Statistics Service figures show cheddar production reached more than 700 million pounds, the highest total since 2000. The service says increased Parmesan and mozzarella production pushed Italian cheese numbers to a record 1.7 billion pounds.
Numbers show the state saw production decreases in processed cheese foods and spreads, as well as Swiss cheese.
NASS says it was the 16th consecutive year that Wisconsin topped its production record set the previous year.