- Author: Lynn M. Sosnoskie
The California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) recently released statistics review (https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/statistics/) reports that California led the nation in 2017 agricultural cash receipts ($50 billion) followed by Iowa ($27 billion), Texas ($23 billion), Nebraska ($21 billion), and Minnesota ($17 billion). California's (CA) top commodities were dairy ($6.6 billion, up 8.2% from the previous year), grapes ($5.8 billion, up 3.1%), and almonds ($5.6 billion, up 10.9%), followed by berries, cattle and calves, lettuce, walnuts, tomatoes, pistachios, and broilers. With respect to agronomic commodities, hay (all) and cotton (all) were ranked 13th ($758 million) and 18th ($475 million), respectively. Compared to the rest of the United States (US), California was ranked first in the nation for hay value (CA share of US receipts: 11.9%) and third in the nation for cotton lint value (CA share of US receipts: 7%). Silage hay was the 14th most valuable commodity (gross value) in California at $871 million. Wheat ($107 million), grain corn ($103 million), and irrigated pasture ($101 million) were ranked 51st, 52nd, and 53rd, respectively. Cotton seed ($83 million) was ranked 58th and dry beans ($72 million) were ranked 61st. Grain hay ($67 million) and Sudan hay ($66 million) were ranked 63rd and 64th, respectively.
The top agricultural county in the state was Kern ($7.3 billion), followed by Tulare ($7.0 billion), Fresno ($7.0 billion), Monterey ($4.4 billion), Stanislaus ($3.6 billion), Merced ($3.4 billion), San Joaquin ($2.5 billion), Ventura ($2.1 billion), Kings ($2.1 billion), and Imperial ($2.1 billion); Madera County ranked 11th ($2.0 billion). Merced County's leading commodities were: milk, almonds, chickens, and cattle and calves; Madera County's leading commodities were almonds, milk, pistachios, and wine grapes. Within California, and with respect to agronomic crops, Merced is the second leading county (behind Imperial) for alfalfa hay gross value ($115 million) and third (behind Kings and Fresno) for cotton lint ($78 million). Merced county is also ranked third for silage ($128 million), fifth for grain corn ($8 million) and irrigated pasture ($5 million) and sudan hay ($3 million), and first for grain hay ($17 million).
Other SJV counties are also important producers of agronomic commodities (according to gross value). Kern and Tulare counties are ranked third and fourth, respectively, for alfalfa hay values. With respect to silage, Tulare is ranked first, Fresno is second, Kern is fourth and Tulare is fifth. Kings County is the number one county with respect to cotton lint value, followed by Fresno; Kern and Tulare counties are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. With respect to irrigated pasture gross value, Tulare and Stanislaus counties are ranked first and second. Fresno County is second for grain hay gross value and Stanislaus is ranked fifth. For Sudan hay, Tulare county is ranked third and Stanislaus county is ranked fourth. Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Counties rank second, third, fourth , and fifth, respectively, for wheat gross value. For dry beans, Fresno is ranked first, followed by Stanislaus, Tulare, and San Joaquin.