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California Agriculture Sees 17 Percent Drop In Revenue in 2015

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Truck hauling cantaloupes picked near Los Banos, California.

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

2015 wasn't the best year for California agriculture. Farmers and ranchers received $47 billion dollars in revenue, a nearly 17 percent decrease compared to 2014, according to a new agricultural statistics review released by the California Department of Agriculture.

While California remains the leading agricultural state nationwide, global prices on certain commodities had a big effect on the state's farms and ranches. Prices farmers could get for almonds and dairy products skyrocketed in 2014. In 2015, they dropped. 

"Once you take the top two commodities in the state and you shave off some production value from them, the total for the state as a whole was down,"says Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economist with UC Davis.

Longshoremen at all the west coast ports also went on a reduced work schedule in 2015, which also may have had some effect on sales. 

"We couldn't get product out that was sold but not delivered. By the time that all got itself worked out in April and May, the southern hemisphere came in and took a lot of our markets away," says Paul Wenger, President of the California Farm Bureau.

Agricultural economists believe that farm revenue and exports increased in 2016. That data has not yet been released. 


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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