Agriculture · Visalia

Tulare Co. crop report shows dip in production in 2020

The Tulare County agriculture report is out for 2020, led by a sluggish performance and decline in crop values for fruit and nuts. 

Fruit and nuts crop values dipped by 15.9 percent, with Ag Commissioner Tom Tucker pointing to price drops in almonds, grapes, peaches and tangerines. 

Almond acreage increased from 78,300 to 89,000 despite the drop, leading values to drop by around $1,500 an acre to $3,460 as the total for the year came in at $338.73. 

Grape values plummeted from $802.55 million in 2019 to $569.81 last year as the acreage remained similar. 

Though fruits and nuts dropped as a whole, pistachios rose from $327 million to $444.26 million year-over-year and navel oranges experienced an increase from $707 million to $844 million. 

Despite the drop, fruit and nut values came in at $3.83 billion total for the year. 

Total farm production went in the same direction as fruit and nuts with a 4.9 percent decrease from the year before.

In 2019, Tulare County had a total farm production of $7.5 billion while 2020 produced a total of $7.14 billion. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, dairy was the big winner in Tulare County last year. 

Milk, the county’s top crop, grew by 15.8 percent in 2020 to $1.87 billion, which was over a quarter of the county’s total agriculture production. 

The Milk value increase came as production rose by 1.5 percent. 

Per the report, the milk increase came in part to government milk-buying programs and an increase in demand for pizza during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Livestock and poultry values also experienced a gain, rising to $671.9 million last year, a one percent increase over the previous year.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.