Looking Back, July 27, 1978: Basin accounts for 18 percent of crops in state
Gross crop returns received by Columbia Basin farmers in 1977 totaled $206.2 million, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Reclamation, project manager Jim Cole reported today.
This represents about 18 percent of the gross value of all the crops produced in the state of Washington last year. The average gross crop value per irrigated acre was $403.62, slightly below the $412 average of 1976. The total gross return in 1976 was $208.4 million.
A total of 510,838 acres were irrigated in 1977, an increase of one percent over 1976 irrigated acreage. There was a similar increase in the number of farm units cropped with 5,896 cropped in 1977, compared to 5,853 in 1976.
Of the 10 major crops raised, seven sold for lower prices than in 1976. These 10 major crops represent 80 percent of the total crop value. Prices for both alfalfa, hay and feed grain corn declined dramatically.
The gross crop value of fruit harvested has increased from $1.2 million 10 years ago to a new reported high of $16.7 million in 1977. The apple crop was harvested from 4,006 acres, a 5 percent increase in the 1976 acreage.