Idaho Exports

Idaho Exports

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Idaho set a record for total value of agricultural exports last year according to one set of data and the state is on pace to set another record this year, according to another set of data.

According to data released by USDA in late October, Idaho businesses exported a record $2.32 billion worth of agricultural products to other countries last year, narrowly beating the previous record of $2.29 billion set in 2013.

A separate set of data released in early November by the U.S. Census Bureau showed Idaho businesses exported $778 million worth of agricultural products through the first nine months of 2021, which was an increase of 11 percent over the same period in 2020.

That $778 million total puts the state on track to set a record for ag exports this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data. The previous record of $1.02 billion was set in 2014.

The Census Bureau data is released quarterly and is based on what state a commodity is exported from, so it doesn’t capture all of Idaho’s farm product exports.

For example, it doesn’t capture the wheat from Idaho that is exported out of Portland. But it does show trends and from a percentage standpoint, matches closely with USDA data that is released annually in the fall.

The USDA data captures more of the state’s farm exports but it is not as timely as the Census Bureau data.

Both sets of data show that Idaho’s agricultural exports are on the rise and in record territory.

“That’s a really good sign” of the overall health of Idaho’s agricultural sector, said University of Idaho Agricultural Economist Garth Taylor.

The Census Bureau data shows that the value of Idaho ag exports is up substantially this year in most of the state’s top markets.

“Severe drought in parts of South America and weather events in other parts of the world are impacting worldwide supplies and creating export opportunities for Idaho’s producers,” said Doug Robison, the Idaho president for Northwest Farm Credit Services.

“Many commodities are more valuable than they were a year ago, contributing to the overall increase in Idaho’s export values,” he added.

That set of data shows Idaho companies sold $253 million worth of farm products to Canada through the first nine months of 2021, which was a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2020.

Canada is by far the top destination for Idaho ag exports.

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