The Washington FFA Convention begins today! You can watch their sessions live on their website, starting at 6:30 p.m. Pacific. We know everyone attending will have an unforgettable experience.
In honor of our Washington FFA members, here are some facts about agriculture in the evergreen state:
• Washington ranks 12th in the nation in terms of total agricultural cash receipts, but is second only to California in the diversity of crops grown (about 230 different ones).
• Washington’s highest dollar crop is apples. This state produces 57 percent of all the apples in the nation at a farmgate value of $1.75 billion.
• Milk is the second most valuable agricultural commodity, followed by wheat, potatoes, and cattle and calves.
• Washington leads the nation in the production of several crops: 92 percent of all raspberries are raised here, 77 percent of all hops, 75 percent of the nation’s supply of spearmint oil, 51 percent of sweet cherries, 46 percent of concord grapes, 46 percent of pears, 41 percent of all peppermint oil, and 38 percent of all prunes and plums.
• Other crops grown include: barley, alfalfa hay, corn, lentils, onions, wine grapes, apricots, peaches, canola, garbanzo beans, blueberries, aquaculture, forest products, and many varieties of vegetable seed.
• Washington also produces oysters, mussels, clams, geoducks, and trout.
• Central Washington is a desert, yet is considered the most productive agricultural land in the state, all because of irrigation. Grand Coulee dam was built in 1941 for irrigation purposes, with the sale of hydro-electric power as the means to pay for the project. The first half of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project has made the desert bloom over half a million acres.