California's dairy industry – the nation's largest – helped lead the state to a 15% gain in the sales value of its agricultural products in 2007, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported last week.
Overall, the state's 75,000 farms and ranches received a record $36.6 billion for their output last year, up from $31.8 billion in receipts for 2006. The previous high occurred in 2005 when sales totaled $32.4 billion.
Recovering from the depressed milk prices of 2006, California dairy producers received $7.33 billion for their milk production during 2007. That compared with $4.49 billion during 2006.
California's dairy farms increased milk output 4.8 percent in 2007, while the price producers received rose from $11.58/cwt. to $18.03/cwt, USDA-NASS said The Golden State produced 22% of the milk in the U.S. last year, most of it used to make cheese and butter.
The state's dairy industry accounted for 63% of the overall change in California's farm revenues from 2006 to 2007.
Nine California farm products exceeded $1 billion in receipts for 2007. Following milk, No. 2 on the list is grapes, which accounted for $3.02 billion in sales, more than $4 billion below dairy revenues.
Catherine Merlo is Western editor for Dairy Today. You can reach her at email@example.com.