Idaho Set A Record For Ag Production Value In 2022

Published online: Nov 06, 2023 Articles Sean Ellis, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation
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PocatelloIdaho set a record for total agricultural production value in 2022, blowing away the previous record.

However, farm and ranch expenses also reached a record high last year and are expected to rise even more this year.

With prices for most of the major ag commodities produced in Idaho on the decline, some significantly, there will almost certainly be no state record for ag production this year.

In fact, that total is expected to decline significantly.

Idaho farmers and ranchers produced $11.7 billion worth of agricultural commodities in 2022, according to data recently released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

That total differs slightly from data that shows total farm-gate receipts, which are what the farmer or rancher receives directly for their commodity. Idaho’s farm-gate receipts total for 2022 was a record $11.2 billion, according to USDA.

The ag production value total includes commodities that are used on-farm and not sold, such as hay.

Ag commodity prices soared last year to record or near-record highs and so did total ag production value.

Idaho’s total ag production value of $11.7 billion in 2022 is 37 percent higher than the 2021 value of $8.6 billion and 33 percent more than the previous record for Idaho ag production value of $8.83 billion set in 2014.

But this year will be a different story.

USDA’s Economic Research Service expects farm revenue to fall by 8 percent this year. ERS also forecasts farm and ranch production expenses to rise by 3 percent in 2023.

Prices for most ag commodities have declined this year, some considerably. For example, the farm-level price for milk, the state’s top ag commodity in terms of total revenue, is way down this year compared with last year.

Farm-level milk prices for Idaho’s dairy operations spent a lot of time hovering around $25 per hundredweight last year. That means dairies on average were getting paid $25 for every hundred pounds of milk they produced.

This year, that average price has spent a lot of time in the mid to upper teens, said Rick Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, which represents the state’s 360 dairies.

At the same time, feed costs, the highest expense for a dairy, have not declined much, he added.

“It’s been a big difference for our dairymen this year compared with 2022,” Naerebout said. “And feed prices have not come down anywhere near the level that we have seen milk prices come down.”

The total value of milk production for Idaho dairies in 2022 was pegged at a record $4.3 billion by NASS. That is 40 percent higher than the 2021 value of $3 billion and 34 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 billion set in 2014.

Cattle and calves, the state’s No. 2 ag commodity in terms of total revenue, also set a record for total value of production in 2022. According to NASS, that sector had a total production value of $1.75 billion last year, 2 percent higher than the previous record of $1.71 billion set in 2014.

Potatoes, the state’s top crop and No. 3 ag commodity, had a total production value of $1.5 billion in 2022, which was a record and 36 percent higher than the previous high of $1.1 billion set in 2021.  

Hay ranked as the state’s No. 4 commodity in 2022 with a record $1.4 billion worth of production, up 27 percent from the previous record of $1.1 billion set in 2008.

Wheat came in at No. 5 with $748 million worth of production value in 2022, 43 percent higher than the 2021 total of $525 million.

Those five commodities had a combined production value in Idaho of $9.7 billion in 2022, which was 83 percent of the state’s total production value for all ag commodities.

Barley passed sugarbeets to take over the No. 6 spot in the state last year with a record $450 million worth of production, which was 88 percent higher than the previous year and 22 percent more than the previous record of $370 million set in 2013.

The total value of sugarbeet production in Idaho last year was pegged at $403 million, down less than half a percent from 2021 ($405 million).

Corn for grain remained Idaho’s No. 8 ag commodity with $171 million worth of production value in 2022, up 12 percent from the previous year’s total of $152 million.

Onions ranked No. 9 with $123 million worth of production in 2022, down 10 percent from 2021 ($136 million), and hops ranked No. 10 with $98 million worth of production value last year, down 7 percent from 2021 ($105 million).

The value of Idaho hop production declined last year following nine straight years of increases.

Idaho ag commodities outside of the top 10 that increased in production value last year included: trout (up 29 percent from 2021 to $43 million, which represented 42 percent of total U.S. sales in 2022), dry edible peas (up 27 percent to $7.6 million), and honey (up 4 percent from 2022 to $7.3 million).

Notable Idaho ag commodities outside the top 10 that decreased in total production value last year included: peppermint oil (down 22 percent to $25 million) and lentils (down 12 percent to $3 million).

The total value of livestock production in Idaho last year was a record $6.8 billion, up 35 percent from 2021, and the total value of crop production was a record $4.9 billion, up 38 percent from 2021.

According to the NASS report, Idaho ranked No. 1 in the United States in five ag commodities last year (potatoes, barley, peppermint oil, alfalfa hay and food trout), No. 2 in hops, No. 3 in sugar beets, milk and cheese production, No. 4 in five commodities (dry onions, winter wheat, all hay, dry edible peas and lentils), and No. 5 in all wheat and dry edible beans.

According to the report, Idaho ranked among the top 10 states in 22 ag commodities last year. The state also ranked No. 11 in cattle and calves and No. 14 in honey.