According to the report by economists in the UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, projected cash receipts from Idaho crops and livestock for farmers and ranchers set a record of $7.7 billion. That’s a gain of 5 percent, nearly $400 million, from 2011 projections for the Gem State, which ranks as the West’s fourth largest agricultural state. Net farm income also rose 5 percent, reflecting that strong crop and livestock prices outstripped the rising expenses agricultural producers faced in 2012.
Milk again rose to the top of Idaho agriculture’s money leaders, generating $2.4 billion. Idaho ranks third nationally in milk production, rendering more than 1 billion pounds of milk monthly. The 2 percent increase in production in 2012 offset a 2 percent drop in prices to keep milk receipts essentially level.
Cattle and calf sales were strong, generating $1.7 billion, up 25 percent from 2011. Livestock receipts overall rose 8 percent to $4.3 billion and represented slightly more than half of the state’s cash receipts.
Crops generated $3.4 billion, a 2 percent increase. Idaho’s top five crops included potatoes, wheat, hay, sugarbeets, and barley.
While farm revenues from all sources rose 7 percent to $8.7 billion, expenses rose 8 percent to $6.1 billion. (UI)