Fresno County crop report reflects drought's impacts

07/15/2014 05:12:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

click image to zoomFresno County cropsVicky BoydJust a few of the ore than 400 crops grown in Fresno CountyThe drought's continuing effect on Central Valley agriculture was apparent as the 2013 Fresno County crop report showed a dip in overall production to $6.44 billion.

That's 2.2 percent less than the $6.58 billion in farm-gate value recorded in 2012 and 6.5 percent less than the record $6.88 billion from 2011, according to a news release.

Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Les Wright attributed much of the decrease to the water shortage.

"The impacts of the drought began to show in our 2012 report," he said in the release. "Producers are feeling the effects of the water shortage more now in 2014 than the previous two years."

"Without a reliable water supply, Fresno County's number one employer—agriculture—will continue to contract," Fresno County Farm Bureau chief executive officer Ryan Jacobsen said in the release.

Much of the county's strength stems from its diversity—more than 400 commercial crops are produced in Fresno County.

For the first time, almonds were ranked number one at $1.109 billion. Grapes, which had led the list since 2002, dropped to second with $1.037 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 were poultry, milk, tomatoes, cattle and calves, pistachios, garlic, cotton and oranges.

The annual crop report reports only farm-gate or gross values. It does not reflect net income or loss to producers nor does it reflect record-high expenses.



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