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Idaho agriculture kept growing in 2022 despite high input costs

An irrigation pivot in a field with flowers and in front of mountains
Rachel Cohen
Boise State Public Radio
Idaho's net farm income grew in 2022 and revenue from crops and livestock reached an all-time high.

Idaho farmers and ranchers brought in 28% more revenue for crops and livestock this year.

“In 2022, we broke all time record highs – it's astronomical increases," said Garth Taylor, an associate professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Idaho. He presented the industry’s financial picture on Tuesday.

Taylor said Idaho agriculture is growing faster than the industry nationwide. Most of the revenue increase is driven by good prices in the milk, cattle and potato sectors, he said, and more products being exported overseas.

“We had a record foreign exports from the state of Idaho last year at $3.8 billion," he said.

Food and agriculture make up about a third of the state’s total export dollars with dairy, potatoes and wheat as the top products sent abroad. Most of Idaho's agricultural exports go to Canada and Mexico.

However, costs farmers faced when growing food were also up this year. There was a drop-off in government pandemic payments, and with inflation, the war in Ukraine and drought in the West, prices were up for inputs. Fertilizer prices climbed 47% compared to 2021, as did fuel.

But Taylor said, despite all that, net farm income in Idaho was still higher than last year when it saw a dip.

In 2023, Taylor will continue to watch those input costs and, potentially, falling milk prices.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2022 Boise State Public Radio

As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.