Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Eggs crack top 10 list and other highlights

Chris McGann

Eggs cracked this year’s top 10 list last year with
a 70 percent jump in production value.
Washington’s agricultural production top 10 list featured ups, downs and a new listing in the annual U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report released this week.

Our state produced an estimated $9.67 billion of agricultural commodities in 2018, down 2 percent from the previous year.

Notable rankings 

The value of all Washington grape production, second only to California’s, hit a record high with an estimated value of $361 million, a 13 percent increase from 2017.

The value of grape production in Washington hit a record high.
The $2.19 billion estimated production value of apples was a 10 percent drop from the previous year, but apples remained Washington’s top commodity and our state maintained its status as the nation’s number one apple producer.

And eggs cracked this year’s top 10 list with a 70 percent jump in production value estimated at $241 million. Pears fell off the list as the 2018 value declined 15 percent to an estimated $211 million.

The 2018 top 10 list

The rest of the list remained largely unchanged with the following rankings.

 1. Apples              $2.19b
 2. Milk                  $1.13b
 3. Wheat $845m
 4. Potatoes            $788m
 5. Cattle                $652m
 6. Hay                   $519m
 7. Hops                 $428m    (ranked 8th in 2017)
 8. Sweet Cherries $426m  (ranked 7th in 2017)
 9. Grapes              $361m
10. Eggs $241m

Apples remain at the top of the list for production value. At
an estimated valued of $2.19 billion, they make up 23 percent
 of our total agricultural value.
The heavy hitters

The top five commodities for 2018 had a combined value of $5.60 billion, or 58 percent of the year’s value for all commodities.

Other upticks

There were several commodities that did not make it into the top 10 production list, but showed significant increases in value from the previous year.

These include onions, which saw an increased value of 10 percent to $178 million in 2018. Blueberries also increased, by 21 percent from 2017 to reach $139 million in 2018. Barley value of production increased 55 percent to $21.5 million in 2018 and the value of canola, at $20.3 million, increased 23 percent from the previous year.

A few slips

Five of the top 10 commodities declined in value from the previous year, including apples, cattle and calves, hops, and sweet cherries. In addition to pears, other commodities that declined in value in 2018 were raspberries, down 38 percent to $35.9 million; and green peas, down 21 percent to $22.8 million.