Agriculture

Fresno dethroned, new leader crowned as America’s top Ag-producing county

Fresno County had a record-breaking Agricultural Production year in 2021, but Kern County and Tulare County had an even better year.

Over $8 billion of gross revenue went through Fresno County for the first time ever, but Tulare County made about $400 million more.

The annual crop and livestock report takes around 8-10 months to gather all of the information in it. The report comes out around October for the previous year.

The report shows gross revenue, not net revenue, which takes into account expenditures like labor, and transportation costs. In 2020, Fresno County was the top agricultural producer in the nation.

“Crossing that $8 billion mark for the first time here in Fresno County is obviously something to celebrate,” said Fresno Farm Bureau’s Ryan Jacobsen.

This year was better than Jacobsen’s expectations because of how difficult 2021 was for growers dealing with rising costs and restrictions.

The west side is home to a large number of vegetable crops that require a lot of water to grow annually. To use their small supply of water efficiently, several farmers had to remove some permanent crops.

“What’s little different about Tulare County is we’re not positioned on the west side of the valley, and we don’t grow as many of those annuals, those rotational,” said Tricia Blattler with the Tulare County Farm Bureau.

Tulare County saw a staggering $940 million gross increase from 2020 to 2021, narrowly edging out Fresno County for second place.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.