grape vines

Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice

Fresno County’s 2022 crop values reached $8.095 billion, falling under Tulare County’s $8.6 billion. According to Melissa Cregan, Fresno County’s agriculture commissioner, the gross production value was 0.12% higher than the prior year, but the county dropped to the second spot in national agricultural production.

Both Fresno and Tulare counties saw a percentage increase in crop value from 2021, whereas Kern County was negatively impacted with a drop of 7%.

“Fresno County’s agricultural strength is based on the diversity of crops produced,” Cregan said in an address to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. “Included in the 2022 report are over 183 different commodities, 77 of which have a gross value in excess of 1 million dollars. Fresno County continues to supply the highest quality of food and fiber nationwide and abroad.”

Grapes held the top spot in the county’s commodity report, reaching a total gross value of $1.24 billion. Almonds dropped to the second spot at $1.14 billion, and pistachios remained third with a value of $705 million.

Ryan Jacobsen, Fresno County Farm Bureau chief executive officer, explained that despite the increased production from 2021, Fresno County farmers were facing a third drought year and decreased water allocations.

“The bounty of this year can easily make you forget what happened last year, but farmers did struggle once again,” Jacobsen said at the board meeting. “It was a zero percent allocation on the West side as well as the first start of SGMA.”

Despite these struggles, Fresno County reshuffled the leadership deck, placing Kern County as the third agricultural-producing county.

“It once again showcases that Fresno County is the agricultural capital of the nation and the world,” Jacobson said. “Obviously, the productivity we have here is found in very few other places, and this is a time for us to celebrate all that we do have in our backyard.”

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