The value of Washington state’s farm production reached a record $9.4 billion last year, led by record high sales of apples, milk and wheat.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, production climbed 14 percent from 2010 and was 13 percent higher than the previous record of $8.35 billion set in 2007. Six of the top seven Washington crops – apples, milk, wheat, potatoes, hay and cherries – reached record high values in 2011.
Apples remain the top farm crop in the state, with a 2011 value of $1.83 billion, up 19 percent from 2010. Apples made up 20 percent of total agricultural value. Milk ranked second with a value of $1.28 billion, up 34 percent from the year before, while wheat was third with a value of $1.14 billion, up 23 percent from the year before.
Blueberries were the most valuable crop per acre in 2011, coming in at $17,429. Sweet cherries produced $15,500 per acre.
Top commodity groups were field crops, followed by fruits and nuts, livestock, commercial vegetables, specialty products, and berry crops. Other commodities where the state is a significant national player include hops, mint oil, and lentils.
Of the $9.4 billion in value, $231 million came from government payments to farmers. (AP)