Tulare County crops reach record value

A group of cows at a cowshed as they are eating fodder on a dairy farm. A group of cows at a cowshed as they are eating fodder on a dairy farm.(Photo by littlewolf1989 on Adobe Stock.)

Tulare County tops $8.6 billion in its Crop Report for 2022; record value may mean a return to the top crop producing county in the nation

TULARE COUNTY – The milk king of the nation may have reclaimed its crown as California’s top ag producing county.

Tulare County reported $8.6 billion in agricultural value for its crops in 2022, a record high for the county and a 6.5% increase over 2021’s value of $8,089,621,300. The historic value of local crops was presented by Agriculture Commissioner Tom Tucker to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors at its Sept. 26 meeting.

The county’s total ag receipts beat out Kern County, the top crop producer in the state last year, which reported $7.7 billion, a 7% decrease from 2021. Fresno County has yet to report but had a 2021 value of $8.08 billion, good for second place in 2021. A key factor for Fresno County may be the lower price for almonds in 2022, the county’s top crop.

The three counties jockey each year for the bragging rights of the number one ag producing county in the nation.

The key factor was again the value of milk in 2022, which hit $26.30 per hundredweight, up from $19.10 the year before. Milk volume was steady in Tulare, the nation’s top milk producer. Milk continues to be the leading agricultural commodity in Tulare County with a gross value of $2.6 billion, an increase of $728 million or 37%. Milk represents 31% of the total crop and livestock value for 2022. The value of milk increased by $7.20 per hundredweight (cwt).

Livestock and Poultry’s gross value of $823 million represents an increase of 12% above 2021, mostly due to a higher per unit value for cattle.

The total value of all Field Crop production in 2022 was $745 million, an increase of 30% from the previous year. This increase is mostly attributed to better prices for field crops across the board.

Fruit and Nut commodities were valued at $4.1 billion, a decrease of 10%. This decrease can be partially attributed to a decrease in the value of Lemons, Peaches, Tangerines and Walnuts. Walnut valuation fell about half from 2021.

Vegetable crops were valued at $26 million, representing an increase of nearly 30%. This can be attributed to an increase in harvested acreage for a variety of vegetables.

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