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Ag. Water & Power Users of Eastern Washington Releases New Study Detailing Economic Impact of Grant County, Washington Irrigated Agriculture

MOSES LAKE, Wash., July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Ag. Water & Power Users of Eastern Washington has released a new study regarding the economic impact of Grant County’s irrigated agriculture production.

The new economic impact study, authored by Elizabeth Sieverkropp of Sieverkropp Consulting, found Grant County agriculture’s 2011 revenues to be $2.4 billion. Additionally, the study indicated that Grant County agriculture contributed $762 million in returns to labor, investment, and payment of taxes in 2011, and employed 10,139 full and part-time workers and paid $256 million in wages.

Over 43% of Grant County farm acres are irrigated. The large amount of acreage under irrigation makes Grant County the largest irrigated county in Washington based on acreage and it has been ranked in top 2 in the state for value of agriculture production for the past several years. Nationally, Grant County is ranked 5th for irrigated acreage and 11th in the United States for value of crops produced. Grant County’s strong position is influenced by its dominance in the production of potatoes, sweet corn, export hay, mint, wine grapes, tree fruit and onions.

This study also estimated that Grant County agriculture has a unique economic impact multiplier of 2.65. In other words, for every $1 of Grant County agricultural products that are sold or exported, an additional $1.65 of economic impact occurs in Grant County. This multiplier would be much higher if the economic impact that Grant County’s agricultural products have outside the county could be measured as many of these products are packed or processed in adjacent counties and exported/shipped outside Washington State.

Given the stable supply of Columbia Basin Project irrigation water in Grant County, irrigated agriculture in Grant County will continue to evolve and expand as the continued shift to high-value irrigated crops shapes the county’s future economic development and increases the county’s economic impact.

For more information about the study or for a copy of the study, contact Elizabeth Sieverkropp at 509-398-6858 or Email.

About Ag. Water & Power Users of Eastern Washington

Ag. Water & Power Users of Eastern Washington was formed in 2008 to address critical power rate and water supply issues impacting irrigators in Eastern Washington. Specifically, Ag. Water & Power Users of Eastern Washington objectives are to restructure the irrigation power rate schedules to benefit agricultural irrigators, be involved in the negotiation of power rates to limit increases, advocate for new supplies of irrigation water through conservation and additional storage, and to speak with one voice.

http://www.agpower.org