Washington Ag Production Value Increases During Pandemic

The value of Washington agriculture production increased 7% last year to $10.2 billion.

With a value of $2.10 billion last year, apples remain the state’s leading agricultural commodity.  That was a 7% jump from 2019 numbers.  Apples represented 21% of the total agricultural value in 2020. In the previous year, apple’s share of the total was also 21%.

Milk remained Washington’s #2 commodity with a production value of $1.19 billion last year, a 7% dip from 2019.

Wheat moved up a spot to the #3 ranking in 2020, with a production value last year of $949 million, up 20% year over year.

Potatoes, valued at $753 million, represented the 4th highest value in the State. The value of potates acutally dropped 19% from a year earlier.

Cattle and calves rounded out the top five with a value of $693 million, down 1% from the previous year.

The top five commodities had a combined value of $5.68 billion, or 56% of the 2020 value for all commodities, excluding government payments. The same five commodities in 2019 had a combined value of $5.67 billion, 60% of the total value.

NASS reported a record high value of production was set for sweet cherries. Value of sweet cherry production in 2020 was $562 million, up 43% from the previous year and 7% higher than the previous record high in 2011.

Egg value of production entered the top ten, with a value of $220 million in 2020, an increase of 33% from the previous year.

NASS noted there were notable commodities outside the top ten that showed significant increases in value from the previous year. The value of blueberries reached a record high value of $214 million in 2020, up 40% from the 2019 previous record high. All pear value of production increased 23% to $176 million in 2020. The value of canola, at $40 million, increased for the 5thfifth consecutive year.

Five of the top ten commodities declined in value from the previous year, including milk, potatoes, cattle and calves, hops, and grapes. Other notable commodities that declined in value in 2020 were onions, down 25% to $136 million, and sweet corn, down 14% to $73.9 million.

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