Idaho’s net farm income up 50 percent for 2019

Idaho’s net farm income was up 50 percent for 2019 compared to the year prior.

According to a recent University of Idaho economic report, the hefty gain in statewide net farm income was led by strong dairy, potato, and sugar beet prices. The state’s 2019 net farm income reached $2.682 billion, up by half from what farmers made in 2018 and more than doubling the $1.3 billion they earned during the previous 12 months.

The agricultural economy’s strong performance was led by Idaho’s dairy industry. Revenue for dairy farmers was up 19 percent for the year to $2.8 billion, even though total milk production in the state was up by 3 percent. Cattle, calves, milk, and other livestock make up 57 percent of the Gem State’s farm cash receipts.

Researchers say lower grain prices have helped livestock feeders, who have adjusted their rations to include more grain and less hay.

The combination of fewer planted potato acres, lower yields, and poor 2019 harvest conditions – both in Idaho and nationally – have resulted in a tight spud supply and strong prices. Idaho potato growers will earn an estimated $1.1 billion in revenue for 2019, up 15 percent from the prior year. The state’s production for the year was down 5 percent.

Sugar beet revenue was up 12 percent from 2018, barley revenue climbed 17 percent, and wheat revenue dipped 1 percent.

Idaho grain farmers received an extra $47 million during 2019 in federal payments through the Market Facilitation Program, created by the Trump Administration to offset lost exports due to international trade challenges. (Post Register)