Idaho ag econ

Idaho ag econ

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Despite being the fastest-growing state in the nation, Idaho is still No. 1 among the 11 western states when it comes to farm income on a per capita basis.

Per capita farm income is arrived at by dividing a state’s population by the total amount of farm cash receipts produced in that state. Farm cash receipts refers to the revenue farmers and ranchers receive for selling their commodity.

According to federal data released Sept. 1 and crunched by University of Idaho Extension Educator Brett Wilder, Idaho farmers and ranchers produced $4,392 per Idahoan in farm revenue during 2021.

That made Idaho the top state in per capita farm income among the 11 western states last year, far ahead of No. 2 Montana, which came in at $3,729 in per capita farm income.

“We’re just a big ag state,” said University of Idaho Agricultural Economist Garth Taylor. “The profile of agriculture in the state is still huge.”

Wilder said the per capita farm income data shows that “agriculture remains an incredibly important industry to Idaho.”

California led all U.S. states in total farm cash receipts last year, at $51 billion. But when it came to per capita farm income, California came in at $1,302 per Californian.

What the per capita income data shows is that agriculture is far more important to the average Idahoan than it is to people in other states, even California, the king of ag states, Taylor said.

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.

Previous ReportTailgate Talks 2
Next ReportPublic lands