STOCKTON — Two of San Joaquin County’s top crop commodities decreased in value last year, but the overall value of the county’s total agricultural output saw an increase of nearly 1%.
San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican presented the 2019 Crop Report to the board of supervisors on Tuesday, noting that the gross value of production was more than $2.6 billion.
Pelican said the 2019 value was a .91% increase of the previous year’s output of $2.59 billion.
For the third consecutive year, almonds were the top grossing commodity for the county’s agricultural industry, valued at $449.6 million. Despite another first-place ranking, the crop’s value declined by 16.18% from 2018.
“This decline was due ultimately to untimely weather events in the spring of 2018 that led to a significant decrease in almond production,” Pelican told supervisors Tuesday. “Grapes also saw a large drop in value because of a large decrease in bearing acreage and a drop in price related to law market demand.”
Grapes were the third top-crossing commodity of 2019, valued at $372.4 million. It was a decrease of 13.48% from the crop’s second-place ranking in 2018.
Milk was the No. 2 commodity, valued at $378.8 million for an increase of 5.13% from its third place ranking in 2018.
Livestock and poultry products saw the largest increase of the year, up 15.6% and valued at $540.2 million. Pelican said the increase was due to an increase in the cost of eggs per dozen and the cost of milk per hundredweight.
The county’s vegetable crop took the biggest hit last year, decreasing by 6.92% in value for a $228.8 million value.
Although the value of fruit and nuts decreased by 3.49%, the crop continues to be the largest commodity for the county at $1.35 billion.
The top exported commodity in 2019 was rice, with 70,544 tons shipped to 95 trading partners, along with 45,398 tons of walnuts and 37,389 tons of almonds.
Another 7,088 tons of cherries and 3,489 tons of pears were exported last year as well.
“As always, we appreciate (the report),” board chair Kathy Miller said. “Agriculture is a traditional, but very vibrant part of our economy here in the county, and the board is very supportive of making sure we provide support (to the agricultural commissioner’s office).”
To view the 2019 Crop Report, as well as reports from previous years, visit www.sjgov.org/department/agcomm/crop_reports.