Idaho's agriculture revenues increase 29% year-over-year to US$7.4B in 2011, driven by 13% increase in potato revenue, 8% growth in wheat, study says

BOISE, Idaho , January 6, 2012 () – In preparation for the start of the legislative session, members of the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee have been listening to experts from a handful of Idaho industries.

The committee has an important job ahead, to project revenues for the state for the coming year based on the reports from industry experts.

One of Idaho’s industries made huge gains in 2011. John Hammel, the Dean of Agriculture Sciences at the University says Idaho's farmers and ranchers posted a record year in 2011.

It’s estimated agriculture in Idaho brought in a projected $7.4 billion in cash receipts. That number is up 29 percent from the previous year.

The demand for Idaho's diverse number of goods, like potatoes, corn and dairy products led to this increase.

“Idaho is a natural resource state and so with that agriculture, forestry and mining have been major players,” said Hammel.

According to Hammel's research, nearly all of Idaho's commodities saw production increases in 2011. Idaho's top revenue crop, potatoes, saw a 13 percent growth. The second revenue maker, wheat, had an 8 percent growth.

Hammel says as the demand for agriculture has always been there and will continue to grow.

“[Agriculture] is going to continue to be an important and viable industry in this state,” said Hammel.

Hammel says 16 percent of Idaho’s workforce is also rooted in the agriculture industry.

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