Idaho ag economy

Idaho ag economy

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
U.S. Census Bureau data show that Idaho has been the fastest-growing state in the nation over the past decade on a percentage basis.

While Idaho’s population is growing quickly, so is the state’s farming sector, Taylor said.

Earlier this year, he told state legislators that Idaho’s total gross domestic product grew by more than 100 percent from 1997 to 2020. During that same period, Idaho farm GDP grew by more than 200 percent.

“Agriculture is growing faster than the state’s overall economy,” Taylor said. “We’re big and we’re growing.”

When it came to per capita farm income last year, Wyoming ranked No. 3 in the West at $2,962, followed by Colorado ($1,415), New Mexico ($1,413), Washington ($1,315), Oregon and California ($1,302), Utah ($595), Arizona ($545) and Nevada ($240).

California ranked No. 1 in the West in total farm cash receipts ($51.11 billion), followed by Washington ($10.18 billion), Idaho ($8.35 billion), Colorado ($8.22 billion), Oregon ($5.53 billion), Montana ($4.1 billion), Arizona ($3.97 billion), New Mexico ($3 billion), Utah ($1.99 billion), Wyoming ($1.71 billion) and Nevada ($750 million).

When it came to net farm income – the farmer’s paycheck – California was No. 1 at $15 billion, followed by Washington ($3.2 billion), Colorado ($2 billion), Idaho ($1.78 billion), Oregon ($963 million), New Mexico ($839 million), Montana ($836 million), Utah ($549 million), Wyoming ($468 million), Arizona ($420 million) and Nevada ($221 million).

According to the federal data released by USDA Sept. 1, dairy was the No. 1 agricultural sector in Idaho last year in terms of total revenue, with $3.1 billion in farm cash receipts.

Cattle and calves ranked No. 2 with $1.67 billion in farm cash receipts, followed by potatoes ($934 million), wheat ($558 million), hay ($519 million), barley ($256 million) and sugar beets ($243 million).

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