According to NASS, the value of Washington’s agricultural production totaled $10.6 billion in 2017, a 4% year-over-year increase, but just shy of the record set in 2015 of $10.7 billion. Apples remained the leading commodity in the state with a value of $2.43 billion last year. That figure is up 3% from 2016, but short of the record recorded in 2012 (of $2.48 billion). Apples represented 23% of the total agricultural value, virtually unchanged from the percentage in 2016.
Milk remained in the second position and had value of production totaling $1.19 billion dollars in 2017, up 8% from 2016. All wheat value of production moved up two spots to take the third position in the state rankings. Wheat value in 2017 was $691 million, up 5% year over year.
Potatoes, valued at $687 million, fell one spot to fourth. This represents a 16% decrease from the previous year. Cattle and calves rounded out the top five with a value of $664 million, down 6% from the previous year.
These five commodities had a combined value of $5.66 billion, or 54% of the 2017 value for all commodities (excluding government payments). The same five commodities in 2016 had a combined value of $5.62 billion, 55% of the total 2016 value.
Record high values of production were established for hops and pears. Value of hop production in 2017 was up 28% from the previous year record, while all pear value of production was up 5% from 2016 and up 1% from the previous record high value in 2014. There were other commodities outside the top ten that showed significant increases in value from the previous year.
Egg production, with a value of $141 million in 2017, increased 21% from the previous year.
Blueberry value increased 22% from 2016 to $115 million in 2017.
The value of canola, at $15.1 million, increased 64% from the previous year.
Four of the top 10 commodities declined in value from the previous year, including potatoes, cattle and calves, cherries and grapes. Other notable commodities that declined in value in 2017 were onions, down 30% to $130 million; lentils, down 31% to $18.4 million; and dry edible peas, down 40% to $15.7 million.
Washington Farm Bureau Healthcare has been providing Washington Farm Bureau members fully insured medical, dental, vision and group life insurance benefits since 2004. The Trust has served thousands of Washington employers, focusing on employers who are engaged in agricultural-related activities. Since 2015, the Trust’s membership has been limited exclusively to employers engaged in the agriculture industry. The Trust is a bona fide association health plan. Its governance and operations meet the applicable federal and state regulatory requirements.