Published online: Jan 04, 2013 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes
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BOISE, Idaho-Idaho economists say the latest personal income data reflect how important agriculture is to the state's economy. As most other sectors of the economy continue to struggle or improve only modestly, agriculture continues to record large gains.


Record farm earnings were one of the main reasons Idaho's total personal income in the third quarter of 2012 grew by eight-tenths of a percent on an annualized basis, ranking the state fifth nationally.


The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates Idaho's farm profits at $1.76 billion for the July-September quarter, which is a 10.2 percent increase from the second quarter and $98 million higher than the old record set during this year's first quarter.


That 10 percent growth in farm earnings is very significant considering Idaho farm profits reached a record level in 2011, Andrew Townsend, the Idaho Department of Labor's regional labor economist for the southwest part of the state, said.


SOURCE: Sean Ellis, Capital Press