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Grant County ag revenues surge, report says

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MOSES LAKE — In Grant County, growing stuff is a growing industry.

A new report issued Monday said ag revenues grew to $2.4 billion in 2011 in Grant County, making it the No. 2 ag-producing county in the state and 11th nationwide for the value of its crops.

The county’s agricultural revenues grew by nearly $300 million from the previous ag census in 2007 by the U.S. Departwment of Agriculture. Monday’s report was issued by the local ag industry in preparation for a new USDA census beginning later this year.

We just wanted to assess where we are now in relation to any new findings,” said report author Elizabeth Sieverkropp of Sieverkropp Consulting, an agribusiness financial consulting company based in Moses Lake. “It just makes sense to take stock.”

Grant County produces potatoes, sweet corn, export hay, mint, wine grapes, tree fruit and onions. The county is also home to processors for many of the vegetables and fruits grown in the area.

The report was commissioned by the Ag Water & Power Users of Eastern Washington, a group that advocates lower power rates and more water for irrigation users in the Columbia Basin.

Sieverkropp’s report showed that 43 percent of Grant County’s farm acres are irrigated — about 475,000 acres — which makes it the largest irrigated county in the state based on acreage and fifth in irrigated acreage nationwide. In 2011, the county’s ag industry employed about 10,140 workers.

For more info, contact Sieverkropp Consulting at (509) 398-6858, or see the full report at ow.ly/mLpGV.