Hartgen: Agriculture sector remains stable in southern Idaho | Chroniclers


The UI announced last week that the 2,000-cow research dairy is set to open in 2023 and will use a $ 2 million, 60-cow DeLaval rotary milking platform, with state-of-the-art equipment. . (UI Ag, 9/22).

Overall, the local agricultural sector with its diverse crop base has weathered the pandemic well. Yields were low due to the hot summer, but the prices were pretty good and most of the farmers were successful. We, the agricultural states of the nation and certainly the West, have once again shown resilience by focusing on the essentials: planting, cultivating, processing, selling and transporting.

Everyone now knows how important the dairy industry is to southern Idaho. The growth of this sector alone over the past 30 years has been truly phenomenal. In 1990, alfalfa was harvesting about $ 50 million per year. Today it is a top crop with a value of over a billion dollars. Most due to the demand for alfalfa hay as a dairy feed. This has given us the dairy sector worth over $ 2 billion, much of which is generated in the region.

And that doesn’t neglect important sectors like livestock, potatoes, sugar beets, beans, barley, wheat and aquaculture, each of which adds tens of millions of dollars in production and processing. . You would be hard pressed to find an area of ​​the country with this diverse agricultural profile.

Of course, visible razzmatazz projects like housing development, hotels, new store openings, etc. Always grab the headlines, but when was the last time you saw a headline about wheat production, the dairy industry, or the sugar beet processing in Idaho?

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