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Idaho Ag sees record sales of four top commodities, a report says

MOSCOW, Idaho (KIFI) - The University of Idaho says Idaho agriculture saw record sales of four top commodities in 2023.

The 2023 report says Idaho farmers brought in record revenue from sugar beets, up by 25%; cattle and calves, up by 18%; barley, up by 17%; and potatoes, up by 14%.

However, Idaho’s top commodity, dairy, saw an 18% revenue drop in 2023.

The report estimates farm profits will be down by 11% in 2023 after expenses. The earnings total is still strong after Idaho had a record 112% net farm income increase in 2022.

“We did see lower cash prices post-harvest, but that's because we had extremely high yields, more harvested acres, more planted acres than the year before as people were chasing those high prices,” University of Idaho area extension educator Brett Wilder said. “But the real driver of the new record at 1.3 billion is higher contract prices that were negotiated ended in 2023.”

The cattle and calves market is expected to be especially strong in 2024. This is due to both strong demand and very tight inventory. 

Wilder expects Idaho should be down below $11 billion but still above $10 billion in 2024. That is, unless some kind of catastrophe happens.

Higher cash receipts for agriculture for the general consumer can be good. Wilder says it can help strengthen that part of the economy. However, it can also mean higher retail prices at the store.

“[In 2024], the contracts will be less. So it just makes everybody tighten up,” Idaho farmer Justin Place said. “You watch what you really need to spend the money on.”

The full release from University of Idaho can be found here.

Article Topic Follows: Agriculture

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Noah Farley

Noah is a reporter for Local News 8.


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