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The Business of Food: Idaho's Agriculture Economy

Background

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Idaho's top five ag exports in 2010.

This page is no longer being updated. For ongoing coverage of this topic, go to Boise State Public Radio’s website.

Idaho’s top five agricultural exports can likely be found in products in your kitchen year round:

  • Dairy
  • Cattle/Calves
  • Potatoes
  • Wheat
  • Hay

According to a 2010 report from the University of Idaho, revenue from agricultural production increased 12 percent over 2009. Part of that increase can be explained by rising prices of milk, bread and beef.

“That’s one of the stabilizing influences of agriculture: it doesn’t matter if milk prices are at $10 or $20, those cows still have to be milked and hay still has to be bought.”  – University of Idaho Economist Garth Taylor

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports there were 24,700 farms and ranches in Idaho in 2011, covering more than 11 million acres.

Agriculture leads the state’s natural resource economy, contributing 4.5 percent to Idaho’s total gross state product (GSP). The University of Idaho’s annual agriculture report says production topped out in 1974 when crop and livestock production made up 16.1 percent of the state’s GSP.

Here’s a break down of where Idaho’s top ag exports go.

Source: Idaho Department of Agriculture

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