Idaho farmers and ranchers had a strong year financially in 2012 but this year they could face challenges. That’s according to a new study from economists at the University of Idaho.
The report, from the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, says that in 2012, projected cash receipts from Idaho crops and livestock set a record of $7.72 billion, up 5 percent, from 2011 projections. Net farm income also rose 5 percent.
Jon Foltz, the UI’s interim dean of agricultural and life sciences, says the report shows the strength of Idaho agriculture, a point he reiterated in testimony before the State Legislature’s budget writers last week.
“All told, in terms of the inputs that come into agriculture, and the outputs that we produce, and the food processing that we have throughout the state, we account for about 20 to 25 percent of the state’s economy.”
As for those challenges in 2013, researchers say, for example, the dairy sector will struggle with high feed costs, and that potato prices will remain below the cost of production.