Washington breaks ag records in 2022

by Staff report
| November 20, 2023 1:00 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington saw record-breaking agricultural production last year, according to an announcement from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The state’s growers registered a whopping $12.8 billion in production value, topping the previous record high of $10.4 billion in 2015 and up 27% from the revised previous year value of $10.1 billion, according to the announcement. The value of Washington’s crop production in 2022 was $8.60 billion, up 22% from 2021. The value of livestock production in 2022 totaled $4.18 billion, up 38% from the previous year. Both crop and livestock production values were also at record highs.  

Apples remain the leading agricultural commodity in the state, according to the announcement, with a 2022 value of $2.07 billion, up 3% from the previous year. Apples represented 16% of the total agricultural value in 2022. In the previous year, apple’s share of the total was 20%. Milk remained in the second position and had a value of production totaling $1.68 billion in 2022, up 39% from 2021. All wheat, valued at $1.17 million, represented the third highest value in the state, with a 55% increase from the previous year, and up from fourth in the State rankings in 2021. Cattle and calves value of production moved down one position from the previous year to fourth in the state rankings. The value of cattle and calves in 2022 was $1.02 million, up 28% from the previous year. Potatoes rounded out the top five with a value of $943 million, up 32% from the previous year. These five commodities had a combined value of $6.88 billion, or  54% of the 2022 value for all commodities (excluding government payments). The same five commodities in 2021 had a combined value of $5.48 billion, 54% of the total value.  

Eggs entered the top ten in 2022 and set a record high value of production. The value of egg production in 2022 was  $460 million, up 149% from 2021. Of the other top ten commodities, milk, wheat, cattle and calves, potatoes, all hay, and all grapes also increased significantly from 2021 and established record high values of production in 2022. Other notable commodities outside the top ten showed significant increases in value from the previous year. All onions reached a record high value of production of $368 million, up 72% from the previous year. Carrots value of production increased 46% to a record high value of $251 million in 2022. The value of canola increased 53%, with a record high value of production of $70.7 million, increasing for the sixth consecutive year. Green pea value of production increased 34%, with a value of production of $32.6 million. Barley value of production rebounded after a significant drop in 2021 and increased 82% in 2022, with a value of production of $32.5 million. Dry edible peas also increased significantly, up 87% from 2021, with value of production of $28.3 million.   

Two of the top ten commodities declined in value from the previous year, including hops and sweet cherries. Other notable commodities that declined in value in 2022 were blueberries, down 13% to $187 million. Corn for grain was down 19% to $108 million, and dry edible beans were down 28%, with a value of production of $35.0 million.

Washington was the top-producing state in the country for hops, spearmint oil, apples, cherries, pears and blueberries, according to the announcement. Washington ranked second only to Idaho in potato production; to California in grapes, apricots, onions and raspberries; and to Michigan in asparagus.