Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just in from Idaho Statehouse

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Milk, Livestock Lead Idaho Agriculture to Projected 12 Percent Gain for 2010
Boise--Idaho Lawmakers got good agricultural news in the Senate Auditorium this afternoon at the Idaho Statehouse.

University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean John Hammel and economist Garth Taylor told lawmakers that Idaho Agriculture made significant gains in 2010 despite a slow, sluggish economy.

Rebounding milk prices helped Idaho agriculture post a 12 percent gain in projected cash receipts for 2010 that totaled over $5.78 billion, according to an annual report by University of Idaho agricultural economists.

The report showed that projected net farm income grew 55 percent to $1.44 billion and repaired much of the damage from a 49 percent drop in 2009. The gain reflected a 10 percent increase in total revenues that outpaced an overall 2 percent rise in total expenses.

"The Financial Condition of Idaho Agriculture: 2010 Projections" prepared by College of Agricultural and Life Sciences economists estimated cash receipts rose more than $600 million from 2009.

Agricultural products, both commodities and processed food, accounted for 25 percent of all Idaho exports in 2009, noted Hammel.

Hammel's overview of Idaho agriculture was prepared for state legislators meeting as the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee Thursday afternoon at the Statehouse. He noted that agricultural businesses accounted for 20 percent of the state's sales in 2009.

"Idaho agriculture is critical to the state's economy," Hammel said, "and provides a solid foundation. The college's efforts in research and extension help to ensure the state's farmers and ranchers can continue to remain profitable and vital contributors to the state and its economy."

"Idaho and agriculture have benefitted from the dedication of farmers and the expertise of the college's faculty and staff. The state's investment in agricultural research and extension is a wise one. It is an investment that ensures agriculture's considerable contribution to Idaho's economy both in generating new dollars to the state and in providing base stability to the state budget," Hammel said.

Milk receipts climbed $520 million to $1.95 billion, a 36 percent increase from 2009. The increase resulted from prices that averaged 27 percent higher and production 7 percent higher in 2010.

Sales of cattle and calves contributed $1.11 billion, a 16 percent increase, and helped build overall livestock receipts to $3.19 billion, a 27 percent increase in 2010, restoring the livestock sector as Idaho agriculture's sales leader.

Crop receipts dipped by 2 percent to nearly $2.6 billion. That reversed the 2009 dominance of crops as Idaho agriculture's top sales sector, resulting then from crops' relative stability and livestock's sharper decline.

Idaho's famous potatoes remained its No. 1 crop in 2010 by generating $690 million, a drop of $96 million or 12 percent from 2009. Production dropped nearly 14 percent to 114 million hundredweight and prices dropped 13 percent.
Wheat sales posted a stronger showing, gaining 6 percent to $542 million, based mostly on a harvest 8 percent larger than 2009 that counterbalanced a 3 percent slide in prices. Onions were the strongest gainer with a 93 percent rise to $76 million, benefitting from a 4 percent increase in production and much higher prices.

Other gainers included dry bean sales, up 13 percent to $63 million, and greenhouse and nursery sales, up 12 percent to $55 million.

A drop in hay production of 3 percent and prices of 18 percent equaled a 10 percent drop in receipts to $374 million. Sugar beets dropped 2 percent to $247 million, based mostly on an 8 percent drop in production that overrode a 7 percent price increase. Barley sales slumped 21 percent to $202 million reflecting an 11 percent drop in production and 12 percent price decrease.

The financial report was prepared by Ben Eborn, University of Idaho Extension educator in Teton County; Paul Patterson, Extension agricultural economist at Idaho Falls; and Garth Taylor, an economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology on the Moscow campus. It is online at: .

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