Press Release Provided by The Kern County Farm Bureau
Kern County farmers and ranchers produced a value of nearly $7.5 billion in agricultural crops and commodities in 2018 – representing a three percent increase from the 2017 value, according to the annual crop report from the Kern County Agricultural Commissioner.
“It is always incredible to see what our farmers are able to produce with the various challenges they continue to face,” stated Kern County Farm Bureau Executive Director Ariana Joven. “lack of water supply, weather fluctuations, and labor to name a few. A three-percent increase in production is something our agricultural industry and community should be proud of.”
Once again, grapes continue to be the top producing agricultural commodity in Kern County with a gross value of $1.51 billion. Although grapes remain the number one commodity, there was about a 2% decrease in value from 2017 to 2018. Last year, the market price per box was extremely low due to an increase in production.
The top five commodities for 2018 are grapes, almonds, pistachios, citrus, and milk, making up more than
$4.4 billion of the total value. While our top five commodities remained the same, Pistachios are now the number three crop in Kern County. Pistachios now have a value of $1.14 billion, a significant increase from $555 million in 2017. This increase is due to 2018 being an “on” year for the alternate-bearing nut, which contributed to an all-time state record of 993.7 million pounds of pistachios being harvested.
“This report is a testament to the diversity of crops produced in Kern County. To produce these type of gross dollar revenues, it takes the right land, water, labor, and other various resources, said Kern County Farm Bureau President Catalino Martinez. “Our agricultural community in Kern are hard workers and continue to innovate despite restraints.”
It is always important to note the figures in the Crop Report represent only gross values and do not consider the costs of production, marketing, transportation, or other ancillary costs. These numbers do not reflect net income or loss to the producers of these commodities.
Kern County Farm Bureau is proud that our county remains one of the top producing agricultural regions throughout the nation and commends the Kern Agriculture and Measurement Standards staff for their hard work with the compilation and preparation of the 2018 crop report.