The Fresno County Department of Agriculture 2014 Crop and Livestock Report was presented to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Overall, agricultural production in Fresno County totaled more than $7.03 billion, showing a 9.26 percent increase from 2013’s $6.44 billion and up 6.98 percent from 2012’s $6.58 billion, the previous record year.
“This report is a testament to the resiliency and determination of the Fresno County agricultural industry,” said Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures Les Wright. “For the first time ever, the gross value of Fresno County agriculture exceeds seven billion dollars.”
Fresno County’s agricultural strength rests with its diversity. With more than 400 commercial crops produced in Fresno County, it’s a given that some years will be good for some and a struggle for others.
“Fresno County’s farmers and ranchers are simply amazing,” said FCFB CEO Ryan Jacobsen. “The drought challenges they are in the midst of are historic. While we celebrate this record number, we must not forget the crops and people that are withering because of politics that continue to cut off water to the region. The production value may be larger than we have ever seen, but the economic activity and jobs that have been lost are staggering.
“Consumers locally, domestically and worldwide are finally beginning to understand the role Central Valley agriculture plays in their diet,” continued Jacobsen. “We have taken this nutritious, available and affordable food supply for granted for generations. The decisions our society and elected officials make today, and in the coming months and year, will determine the destiny of our industry.”
The annual crop report provides a chance to examine changes in crop acreage and yields. Values in the report reflect gross values only and do not reflect net income or loss to producers. Additionally, the agricultural industry is currently experiencing record high expenses.
“Fresh vegetables increased 0.47 percent in value this year, led by garlic and fresh tomato markets. While livestock and poultry increased in value by over 22 percent, field crops declined over 36 percent and fruit and nut crops increased 13.16 percent,” said Wright. “Our growers exported 183 commodities in over 20,000 shipments to 101 countries.”