Oct 14, 2020
Idaho potatoes valued at a record $1.04 billion in 2019

One again, potatoes were the third most valuable commodity in Idaho agriculture in 2019 behind only milk and cattle. Total potatoes value was a record $1.04 billion, up 2% from the previous year, according the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

The total value of Idaho’s 2019 agricultural production was $8.25 billion, up 6% from the previous year’s revised value of $7.75 billion. The value of Idaho’s crop production in 2019 was $3.45 billion, up 4% from 2018. The value of livestock production in 2019 totaled $4.80 billion, up 9% from the previous year. The rankings of the top nine commodities remained unchanged from 2018.

  • Milk remains the leading agricultural commodity in the state with a 2019 value of $2.86 billion, up 20% from 2018. This is the second-highest value of milk production on record, with the highest being in 2014. Milk represented 35% of the total agricultural value compared with 31% in 2018.
  • Cattle and calves remained in the second position and had value of production totaling $1.41 billion dollars in 2019, down slightly from 2018.
  • Potatoes ranked third in 2019 with value of production of $1.04 billion, up 2% from the previous year.
  • Hay value of production was $799 million, up 3% from 2018, fourth in the State ranking.
  • Wheat rounded out the top five with a value of $497 million, down 8% from the previous year.

These five commodities had a combined value of $6.61 billion, or 80% of the 2019 value for all commodities (excluding government payments). The same five commodities in 2018 had a combined value of $6.13 billion, 79% of the total value.

Sugarbeets, barley, corn for grain, and hops all remained in the same ranking position as the previous year. Onions entered the top 10 in 2019 with value of production of $65.8 million, up 35% from the previous year.

Record high values of production were established for potatoes and hops. Value of hop production in 2019 was $89.3 million, up 4% from the previous record in 2018.

There were commodities outside the top five that showed significant increases in value from the previous year. Corn for grain, onions, peppermint, dry edible peas and oats all increased in value by double-digit percentages. Corn for grain production, with a value of $137 million in 2019, increased 16% from the previous year. The value of peppermint totaled $37.9 million, up 12% from 2018. Only three of the top ten commodities, cattle and calves, wheat and sugarbeets, declined in value from the previous year.

Other notable commodities outside the top 10 that declined in value in 2019 were trout, down 7% to $37.4 million; lentils, down 33% to $7.30 million; and honey, down 16% to $4.92 million.

Top photo: Eagle Eye Produce


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