(Oct. 10) For the third straight year, Washington state’s agricultural production value set a record, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture news release.

Value of the state’s 2007 agricultural products reached $8.5 billion, a 23% increase over nearly $7 billion in 2006.

Leading commodities included apples, valued at a record $1.75 billion in 2007, compared with $1.41 billion in 2006; and potatoes, valued at a record $685 million in 2007, up from $562 million the previous year.

Grapes, pears, blueberries and greenhouse products also set record values of production, the release said.