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Record Income For California Farms!

But when the rain stops, we'll be right back where we started because nothing's been done to fix the problems

Sep 06, 2011


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Denis Prosperi
Chester Andrew
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Russ Waymire
John "Dusty" Giacone
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Kole Upton
Piedad Ayala
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Record Income for California Farms!

It's nice to see farming do well in the State of California, especially since it's about the only industry in the state that actually produces anything.  Our political environment has chased just about everything that isn't bolted down out of the state.  We can thank Mother Nature and her bountiful rain the past two years for the record production, and not any political decisions by all the numerous boards, committees and councils.  And we can thank our California forefathers in the 1930's, 40's and 50's for long-term thinking that put infrastructure in place that allowed the current generation to benefit. 

It seems to us that there are long-term thinkers and short-term thinkers.  The leaders who built the water infrastructure were long-term and wanted to leave something for their children and grandchildren.  Current leaders appear to be more short-term, worrying about how to survive another day, another election, unwilling to make tough decisions that might cost them political points or upset their donors. 

If the powers that be would just look around and see how much the ag industry contributes to the state, how it's the only thing keeping the state afloat with all the other problems.  If they would just see how these record crop reports also translate into other related businesses like trucking, farm-related sales, processing, vehicles, etc.  If they would just see how these record crop reports also translate into sales tax, property tax, employment which also pays income and sales tax, taxes that keep public employees on the job. 

But when the rain stops, we'll be right back where we started because nothing's been done to fix the problems.  What will we leave our children and grandchildren other than monumental debt and the same infrastructure we inherited? 


State farmers’ income hits record $37.5B

S.J. growers see revenues fall slightly in 2010


By The Record

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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