Spokane Journal of Business

Northwest Farm Credit predicts most PNW crops will be profitable this year

Forest products expected to show gains in new year

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The outlook for most Pacific Northwest commodities is fairly rosy, with most predicted to be profitable, according to a quarterly report compiled by Spokane-based agricultural lending cooperative Northwest Farm Credit Services.

The market snapshot of the state of key agricultural commodities in the Northwest shows that forest products are expected to make up one of the strongest commodities in 2022.

Forest product manufacturers are expected to see robust profits due to stabilizing prices and a consistently strong demand for housing.

“After an avalanche in pricing, lumber has regained its footing and is trending solidly upward,” the report states.

Nurseries and greenhouses also are expected to be highly profitable. Northwest Farm Credit says the industry is reaping the benefits of increased interest in landscaping and gardening, as well as a robust housing market. While labor and prices remain a concern, consumers seem to be willing to pay higher prices, and growers have become more efficient.

Apple growers in Washington can expect to be slightly profitable in 2022. The report states that a smaller, higher quality crop and fewer imported apples creates higher prices, but profit margins could take a hit due to reduced exports and increasing costs.

Hay and wheat likely will be profitable, the report says. Hay inventory is extremely low, which means prices will remain higher this year. While the wheat industry experienced losses from low production in 2021, Northwest Farm Credit predicts the effects will be softened by high prices, crop insurance payments, and government programs.

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Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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