The National Agricultural Statistics Service today released the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The Washington highlights are available here.
From 2007 to 2012, Washington’s acreage in farms decreased by 1.5 percent, and Washington’s total value of agricultural products sold increased by 34.3 percent to $9.121 billion. Fruits, tree nuts and berries sales made up 32.1 percent of total sales in 2012 — the next highest market value category was grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas, with 16.2 percent of total sales.
Total production expenses in Washington increased from 2007 to 2012 by 45.4 percent. Of production expenses, farms spent the most on hired labor, the costs of which increased by 48.8 percent. Feed was the next most costly item, and its costs increased by 66.8 percent. The “other expenses” category was the third most costly; its costs increased by 70.0 percent. (This item includes things like storage and warehousing, marketing, and insurance.)
Some 2012 facts:
- Grant County and Yakima County ranked 11th and 12th nationally in value of sales. (Washington as a whole ranked 17th nationally.)
- Yakima County has the nation’s most apple acres, and four of the top five counties for apple acres are in Washington.
- Grant County and Benton County led the nation in sweet corn acres.