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Idaho Economy

The United States has become a service economy and many states, Idaho included, generate most of their revenue through service industries.

Agriculture

In terms of revenue generated, Idaho's top five agricultural products are dairy products, cattle and calves, potatoes, wheat, and hay.

Livestock

Beef cattle are Idaho's most valuable farm product. Milk is a valuable livestock product.

Idaho is also an important source of lamb and wool.

Crops

Idaho's main source of agricultural income is the potato crop.

Grass and seed crops include alfalfa and bluegrass seed, hops and mint.

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Manufacturing

Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

Electrical equipment (computer components lead) is Idaho's top manufactured product.

Ranking second are food processing (potato-processing plants, beet-sugar refineries, canning and freezing companies, dairies, meat, poultry, wheat processing plants) concerns.

Other leading manufactured products are lumber and wood products, machinery (computers most important), chemicals, printed materials (newspapers and commercial printing companies) and fabricated metal products.

Mining

The mining sector of Idaho's economy is supported by silver, phosphate rock (for fertilizer) and gold.

Other important mined products are clays, copper, crushed stone, garnet, molybdenum, sand and gravel, and vanadium.

Services

Service industries make up the largest portion of Idaho's economy, with the wholesale (groceries, petroleum, wood products) and retail (automobile dealerships, food stores, and restaurants) trade industries leading in the service sector.

Ranking second is the finance, insurance and real estate industry.

Community, business and personal services (doctors' offices, private hospitals, hotels and ski resorts, engineering and law firms) rank third.

Sources

Harley Johansen and Ronald L. Hatzenbuehler, "Idaho," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/271480, September 5, 2001.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Idaho State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ag_Overview/AgOverview_ID.pdf> (12 January 2006)

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