This week, like last year, the focus is on common Thanksgiving foods and which states produce them. The geographically accurate cartogram above redraws the states' sizes based on pecan production. Specifically the number of acres harvested. Only 34 states produce the nut and of the 34, the USDA publishes complete data on only 26 of them due to the other eight states having few producers which would make it easy for their competitors to know how large their operations are.
- Of the states data is available for, Texas harvests the most acres of pecans accounting for over one-third of the nation's total acreage dedicated to the crop.
- Georgia comes in a close second, with just under one-third.
- Twelve states harvest less than 1,000 acres (in descending order): Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia, Utah, Nebraska, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
- The agriculture census data is from 2012.
- The following states do produce pecans but the USDA does not release production numbers because there are few operators in the state. It could be that these states are the largest or the smallest producers in the US. The states whose data was not released are Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
- The following states were not listed as pecan producing states and thus do not show up on the map: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington.
- The choropleth classification is based on Jenks or natural breaks.
- The map is presented in an Albers equal-area conic projection.
- The two insets have the same scale as the main map.
Note how the crop is predominantly grown in Southern states; both in the humid southeast and the arid southwest.
The total reported area dedicated to the crop in the United States is 378,654 acres or 591.65 square miles (about one-third the size of Rhode Island).
|State||Acres Harvested||Percent of US Total|
United States Department of Agriculture. 2018. "USDA/NASS QuickStats Ad-Hoc Query Tool." Accessed November 18, 2018. https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/BB3D2B31-8254-39BF-91BF-3BE5EADF7C2E.