YAKIMA, Wash. — An agricultural census taken every five years shows Yakima County has dropped to No. 2 in farm production value statewide.
The 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture Ag Census shows that Grant County took the No. 1 spot since the last count in 2007.
Grant County sold $1.762 billion in market value of farm products in 2012, according to the information released last week. That’s nearly a 50 percent jump over the $1.19 billion value in 2007.
Despite dropping to second place, Yakima County still showed substantial growth, jumping 38 percent from $1.204 billion in 2007 to $1.646 billion in 2012.
Overall, the state reached $9.1 billion in agricultural sales in 2012, the census said.
Benton and Franklin counties ranked as the third- and fourth-most valuable farming counties. Crops grown in Benton County were worth about $923 million in 2012, while Franklin County’s crops earned $740 million, the census said.
Walla Walla County was fifth on the list.
“Agriculture remains a critical economic engine for Washington, no matter where you live, and our farmers and ranchers are producing record amounts of food that is helping to feed people around the world,” said Mark Streuli, deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture.
Data from the census can help inform decisions on issues affecting the agricultural industry, he said.
Grant and Benton counties were the top two counties nationwide for sweet corn acres. Benton County had more than 25,000 acres of sweet corn harvested in 2012.
And Grant and Benton counties had the second- and third-most potato acres in the nation, according to USDA. Benton County harvested nearly 34,000 acres of potatoes in 2012. Franklin County was close at 31,000 acres.
• Information from the Tri-City Herald was included in this report.