The 2016 Sacramento County Crop and Livestock Report was released and presented to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday. Juli Jensen, Sacramento County’s Agricultural Commissioner, announced that the “Farmgate, or gross value of agriculture in the County had passed the half billion dollar mark, at $507 million, for the first time in Sacramento County history!"
The overall increase in 2016 values over 2015 was 7.9 percent; just over $37 million. A large contributor to this increase was Sacramento County’s vineyards. An increased yield of grapes, harvested on more production acres and coupled with an increased price per ton, saw an overall increase of 44 percent for Sacramento’s number one crop.
Another bright spot was the 29 percent increase in nursery stock values. As homeowners pulled out thirsty lawns, due to the continuing lack of rain, and planted drought tolerant xeriscape, the nursery industry was rewarded. In 2016, the nursery industry hit the $30 million dollar mark.
Unfortunately, not all agricultural crops fared as well. Field crops such as rice, wheat, alfalfa and oats dropped in value. Cattle, other livestock and aquaculture also suffered. The 2016 Crop and Livestock Report, located in our Sacramento County libraries and on the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s website, can be referenced for specific values.
The 2016 report also includes some fun facts about Sacramento County agriculture:
- Did you know that Sacramento County farmers and ranchers export agricultural products to countries as far away as the Ukraine, Ethiopia, New Zealand and Australia?
- Did you know that Sacramento County harvests more pears than any other County in the State?
- Did you know that Sacramento County is home to five aquaculture farms and that over the last two decades these innovators have made our county world-renowned for Sturgeon caviar, and have produced over 80 percent of the caviar consumed in the United States?
- Did you know that Sacramento County is home to two USDA trained canines who alert inspectors to parcels carrying agricultural goods (via air, railroad, or truck)? The inspectors then check the parcels for pests that are known to devastate crops.
- Did you know that the Sacramento County Agricultural Department performs insect trapping as an early warning system against the accidental introduction of invasive exotic pests? Staff place and inspect over 69,000 traps each year to protect our agricultural industry, residents and the environment.
- Did you know that the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner is also the Sealer of Weights & Measures? Her staff conducts tests of all weighing and measuring devices used in commercial transactions, such as counter/deli scales, hanging scales, jeweler scales, retail fuel meters, taxi meters, and propane gas meters to ensure consumers are not being overcharged.
For more information and interesting stories about Sacramento County agriculture and weights and measures, please see the 2016 Sacramento County Crop and Livestock Report