Record Value for Washington Farm Production

10/25/2012

The value of Washington's farm production reached $9.4 billion last year, led by apples and cherries, among other commodities.

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.

"Agriculture remains a bright spot in our economy, with stable employment and growing exports to the Pacific Rim," said Dan Newhouse, director of the state department of agriculture.

Despite rising costs and worker shortages, Newhouse said he remained optimistic about the future.

Apples remain the top farm crop in the state, with a 2011 value of $1.83 billion, up 19 percent from 2010. Apples, the state's signature farm product, made up 20 percent of total agricultural value.

Blueberries were the most valuable crop per acre in 2011, coming in at $17,429. Sweet cherries produced $15,500 per acre.

Fruits and nuts were worth $2.50 billion, commercial vegetables were worth $481 million, specialty products were worth $378 million, and berry crops were worth $183 million.

Of the $9.4 billion in value, $231 million came from government payments to farmers.

Source: cbsnews.com