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Washington Crops Rose in 2012, Apples Remain King

Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission.

Washington’s agricultural crops rose 6 percent in 2012 from the previous year, according to federal bean counters.

A recent USDA report say agricultural products reached nearly $10 billion. Some of the products that saw rapid growth in Washington include dry edible beans, barley, and apples.

Apples remain king in Washington state. In 2012, they came in with a 16-percent crop increase over 2011—a value of $2.25 billion.

Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, says interestingly, apple growers have less acreage now than they did 20 years go, but more trees per acre.

“In the traditional orchards of the past, we might have 380 trees per acre. Today we’re seeing orchards with as much as 1,000 to 1,500 trees per acre. So a lot more intense farming, a lot better stewardship of the land, a lot more efficiencies,” Fryhover said.

The other top crops in Washington, by value, are: wheat, milk, potatoes, and hay.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.