State farmers’ income hits record $37.5B
S.J. growers see revenues fall slightly in 2010
California's farmers and ranchers received a record high $37.5 billion for their fruits, vegetables, meat and milk in 2010, up 9 percent from the year before, federal farm officials reported Tuesday.
Those gains were led by higher prices for milk, as well as soaring receipts for tree nuts: almonds, walnuts and pistachios.
As previously reported, San Joaquin County dairy and nut producers shared in those gains, but they also saw value declines in key fruit and vegetable crops, so overall, the region's farm revenues amounted to $1.96 billion last year, down 2 percent from 2009.
California accounted for nearly 12 percent of the nation's farm receipts in 2010, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service.
State dairy producers received $5.93 billion for their milk in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009 but down 14 percent from 2008. Higher prices made the difference as farmers received an average of $14.69 per hundred pounds of milk in 2010, compared with $11.49 in 2009.
Still, California dairies struggled to turn a profit in 2010 as higher milk prices were often offset by the rising cost of feed, such as hay, corn and other grains.
Farm officials said 2010 was a banner year for nut crops, with almonds, pistachios and walnuts all setting records for estimated values.
Of 11 California farm products exceeding $1 billion in receipts, pistachios showed the largest value increase, up 95 percent to $1.16 billion in 2010. Walnuts soared 42 percent to total $1.06 billion, and almonds gained 24 percent in value to $2.84 billion.
In San Joaquin County, milk and nuts also scored big gains, according to the annual crop report released Aug. 2.
Milk revenue totaled $341 million in 2010, an increase of nearly $83.7 million or 32 percent.
The value of the county's walnut crop jumped $46.7 million, or 29 percent, to $207 million last year. Almonds reached $157 million, up $22.5 million or 17 percent.
Major county crops seeing revenue declines included grapes, which totaled $249 million in 2010, down $36 million or 13 percent from the year before. Also, the cherry crop was down an estimated $28.2 million to $184 million and asparagus revenues were off nearly half to $27.7 million.
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