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How Idaho’s low revenue is affecting farmers

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – Last year, Idaho set records for agricultural production value. But as we have learned, this year agricultural revenue is down for many crops, except for barley.

The University of Idaho reported the state's net farm income to be up 56% from 2021 to 2022. But if you look at their data from 2021, the net income was a 26% decrease from 2019. Net farm income is the farmer's revenue minus their cost, essentially the farmer's bottom line.

Sean Ellis with the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation says last year that big spike that benefited a lot of farmers generally speaking, but that doesn't make those numbers the new normal.

"It's hard to say what normal is anymore with inflation, but... ag commodity prices in particular are very volatile, you know," he said. "They go up and down, they swing rapidly. So, last year was an up cycle, this year is a down cycle, you know, supply and demand."

So farmers may have to adjust their budgets after this year's harvest. It could make budgets tight for farmers as they spend the around same amount each year to maintain their fields and crops.

But in general, despite the loss, farmers don't seem to be too concerned as most are used to the changing market.

"Farming is a gamble, you know, it's not for the faint of heart. Farmers are really good at growing stuff... but they can't control markets, you know. They're price takers not price makers. They can't control crop pests, they can't control crop diseases, they don't control government regulations... There's so much stuff that's out of their control," Ellis said.

Article Topic Follows: Agriculture

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Kailey Galaviz

Kailey is a morning anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3


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