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In The News

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In The News

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Most ag industries in the Northwest will see a slightly profitable year

Spokane, WA | June 28, 2023

AgWest Farm Credit has released its quarterly Market Snapshot reports covering the state of major agricultural commodities in its northern region of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

SPOKANE, Washington (June 28, 2023) –  AgWest’s team of industry experts gather market information from various sources to deliver commodity-specific insights. All Market Snapshots are available at AgWestFC.com/industry-insights.

AgWest’s 12-month outlook for specific regional agricultural commodities is summarized below:


The 12-month outlook sees apple growers and packers as slightly profitable. Northwest’s 2023 crop production looks to rebound from low levels in 2022, while orchards in Michigan and New York may see lower yields. Prices for the 2022 crop are generally favorable, but packouts in many cases are low. Small- to medium-size producers in Washington face difficulties with a shifting regulatory environment and tighter labor availability. 


The outlook for cattle suggests profitable returns for cow-calf producers and slightly profitable returns for cattle feeders. Cow-calf producers will benefit from record cattle prices and improving pasture conditions. Cattle feeders will benefit from higher cattle prices, but profits will be challenged by elevated feed costs and inflation.


The 12-month outlook sees profitable returns for regional cherry growers. Drivers include a generally positive outlook on the 2023 crop, overlap with California’s crop and uncertain demand conditions. 


The dairy profitability outlook suggests slightly unprofitable returns. Dairies face headwinds from weakening milk prices and elevated feed costs. Strong cull cow prices provided a partial offset of lower milk prices for poor-performing cows.   


The outlook for fisheries suggests slightly profitable returns. Drivers include softening prices, strong supplies and falling diesel prices.  

Forest Products

The 12-month outlook sees forest product manufacturers and timberland owners as slightly profitable. Drivers include reduced demand for lumber and logs and limited availability of skilled labor.   


The profitability outlook for hay suggests slightly profitable returns for alfalfa producers and breakeven returns for timothy producers. Drivers include June storms dampening first-cutting hay quality, lower hay prices and decreasing cost of production. Export quality hay faces headwinds from weak buyer demand and ongoing port challenges.


The 12-month outlook sees the nursery/greenhouse industry as profitable. Drivers include increasing plant sales, falling trucking costs, technological advancements and emerging market opportunities. 


The profitability outlook for onions suggests slightly profitable returns. Wet conditions slowed early onion development in the Northwest, but summer heat should help onions bulk up. Strong demand and prices for onions were offset by increased production costs. 


The 12-month outlook sees slightly profitable returns for pear producers. Drivers include a normally sized 2023 crop and steady demand.   


The 12-month outlook for potatoes suggests profitable returns for contracted and uncontracted potatoes. Drivers include increased acres to support processor expansion, ongoing contract negotiations and record russet table prices.  

Sugar Beets

The profitability outlook for sugar beets suggests profitable returns. Drivers include favorable growing conditions, an improving irrigation outlook and tight global inventories creating upward price pressure.  

Small Grains

The profitability outlook for small grains and pulse crops suggests slightly profitable returns. Drivers include a smaller winter wheat crop, geopolitical tensions and forecasted record global production. 


The 12-month outlook sees the winery and vineyard industries as slightly profitable. Drivers include warm weather, excess production capacity in Washington, relatively strong imports and mixed market sentiment.  


About AgWest Farm Credit

AgWest is a financial cooperative with approximately $30 billion in total assets that provides financing, crop insurance and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers and rural homeowners primarily in seven Western states. AgWest is part of the 107-year-old Farm Credit System – the leading provider of credit to American agriculture.



Cori Draper
Director – Marketing Communications

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