Home Industry News Economics Fresno Ranked #1 Ag County in the Nation, Led by Almonds

Fresno Ranked #1 Ag County in the Nation, Led by Almonds

The Fresno County Department of Agriculture’s 2019 Crop and Livestock Report was presented to the Board of Supervisors today. For the second year in a row, Fresno County is the number one agricultural county in the nation.

“Fresno County’s 2019 Crop and Livestock Report once again showcased how this region is the food capital of the world,” said FCFB CEO Ryan Jacobsen. “A significant amount of the nation’s plate originates right here in our backyard with over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts grown in California, a great majority of those here in the San Joaquin Valley. In total, California holds seven of the nation’s top 10 agricultural counties, including Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Monterey, Stanislaus, Merced, and San Joaquin.”

Overall, the 2019 agricultural production value in Fresno County totaled $7.717 billion. While the total crop production decreased 2.31 percent, Fresno County was just able to hang on to the number one spot.

“This report is prepared in accordance with California Food and Agriculture Code and summarizes the acreage, production, and value of agricultural commodities produced in Fresno County,” said County of Fresno Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures Melissa Cregan. “The figures contained herein represent gross returns to the producers and does not reflect actual net profit.”

Included in the 2019 report are over 300 different commodities, 78 of which have a gross value in excess of $1 million.

“Although individual commodities may experience difficulties from year-to-year, Fresno County continues to supply the highest quality of food and fiber nationwide and abroad to more than 89 countries around the world,” said Cregan.

Fresno County Department of Agriculture issued 17,796 phytosanitary certificates for 63 commodities destined for 89 countries around the globe in 2019. In addition, inspectors walked and certified 1,406 acres of alfalfa, lettuce, radish and onion grown for seed export.

“During this week of gratitude and thanks typically celebrated around the dining table, we should all be appreciative to the men and women whose jobs depend on agriculture,” continued Jacobsen.

Too often, the Crop and Livestock Report gets summarized down to just a single overall number, but it yields a significant amount of information, such as, the ability to examine changes and trends in crop acreage and yields. Amounts in the report reflect the gross income values only and does not reflect net return to producers.

“The Crop Report is more than numbers,” said Jacobsen. “It provides the opportunity to salute local agriculture and focus on the food and fiber, jobs and economic benefits our farms provide. No matter how small or big the farm operation is, they all provide essential benefits to our community, nation and world.”

One significant component of the report is the review of the county’s “Top 10 Crops,” which showcased the diversity of products grown here. In 2019, these crops accounted for just shy of three-fourths of the report’s value.

This year’s Crop Report was a salute to our “superheroes” in the agricultural community, including the work done by the County of Fresno Department of Agriculture in partnership with the California Department of Food and Agriculture in protecting the agricultural industry from invasive species and pests.

For a copy of the full crop report, click here.

Source: Fresno County Department of Agriculture’s 2018 and 2019 Crop and Livestock Reports

Frequently asked questions about the Crop Report:

What is the Crop Report?

The Crop Report is a state mandate that reflects the county’s gross value of agricultural production, separating the information by commodity group for a calendar year. Information is gathered through the use of a crop report survey from a random sample of growers, ranchers, processors, packers and many other sources.

Due to its diversity, California is the only state that produces annual county crop reports, which are more precise and unique than other government and industry reports. The report is also the only source of specialty crop and general county data.

Who uses the Crop Report?

The information provided in the Crop Report helps groups, such as ranchers and growers, agricultural suppliers, agricultural lenders, agricultural research and education agencies, agricultural regulatory agencies, transportation agencies, farm labor offices and health and disease programs, plan for the upcoming year in regards to harvesting, processing, pricing, transportation and credit.

Lenders use the Crop Report extensively to be informed of cropping trends and potential capital needs for different crops. In addition, research and education agencies use the Crop Report as a historical baseline of what is being grown. It provides valuable information in policy alternative decision making. Finally, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) uses the Crop Report. During disaster relief, the FSA pays growers based on a weighted average of the crop report data for the impacted crop.

How does it benefit Fresno County?

Every year, there is a gap between when Fresno County fiscal year begins and ends, and when the funds from property taxes are received. Since the county cannot operate without funds, it applies for a tax and revenue anticipation note (TRAN), which is a short-term loan. The county needs this loan prior to July 1 to ensure that all county services will continue for residents.

When Fresno County officials apply for the Standard & Poor’s Bond Rating, they present a financial package, which includes the county’s risk management strategies, current budget for the year and a forecast for the upcoming year. This portfolio highlights resources that are unique to the area and includes a page focusing on Fresno County’s record agricultural production and trends of the previous 10 years.

Fresno County Farm Bureau is the county’s largest agricultural advocacy and educational organization, representing members on water, labor, air quality, land use, and major agricultural related issues. Fresno County produces more than 300 commercial crops annually, totaling $7.717 billion in gross production value in 2019. For Fresno County agricultural information, visit www.fcfb.org.

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