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Legislative Report: Ag another record year

By: Jake Putnam
Published in Video on  January 10, 2021

Boise—Good news from the Idaho Statehouse—For the second straight year, Idaho Agriculture is soaring. 

That's the word from U of I Ag Economist Garth Taylor, he told State Lawmakers that cash receipts from crops and livestock will top $8.5-billion dollars, the second-highest year in State history.

“So what grew this year,” said Taylor. “Our crops were up 15-percent, sugar beets were on a tear,” he told lawmakers. “We had people in the American Falls area that were harvesting about 50-tons per acre. That’s phenomenal with great sugar. Hay is about the only thing that went down. 

Cattle and calves were down, according to Taylor, but the numbers are fluid.

“We got Cattle and calves marked down but we’re not going to swear by that number. Milk was up 2-percent this year in spite of a COVID year. And dumping milk, yes we dumped it down the drain in the Magic Valley to milk prices over $22 dollars per hundredweight. We went from dumping spuds, which around Blackfoot there were piles of spuds and trying to get rid of them to rumors of 15-16 dollars a hundred. Those are the type of fluctuations we saw this year. Despite that we saw the second-highest prices we have ever seen in cash receipts in the State of Idaho,” added Taylor.

All in all potato prices were up 13-percent, at $1.1 Billion dollars.

And farmers made money, net farm income now projected at $8.5 billion, 15% higher than last year.

Idaho’s cash receipts from the farm reveal 2% from milk; while cattle and calves, came in, down 1%; specialty crops, up 11%; wheat, 17%; hay, down 9%; sugar beets, 29%.

In 2020 according to the report Ag accounted for one of every eight jobs in Idaho. The state ranked first in the U.S. for potato production and third in milk production.

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