State’s dairy sector leads 2010 farm revenues to new high of $37.5 billion.
Led by the dairy sector, California’s 81,700 farms and ranches received a record high $37.5 billion for their output last year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture reported today.
California agriculture revenues increased 9% for 2010 from the revised 2009 income level of $34.6 billion, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service. California’s cash receipts represented 11.9% of the U.S. total for 2010.
California’s increase in revenue was led by the dairy sector. Dairy producers received $5.93 billion for their milk production in 2010, up 31% from 2009, but down 14% from 2008. Herd size decreased 2% from 2009. Milk production from the state’s dairy farms increased 2%. Milk prices received by producers rose from $11.49 per hundred pounds of milk sold in 2009 to $14.69 in 2010. California produced 20.9% of the nation’s milk supply last year.
The beginning of 2010 saw a dip in milk price for January, February and March. Milk prices began a slow recovery from April through October, before slipping in November and December. The higher price of milk was often offset by higher feed costs, which resulted in California dairies struggling to turn a profit in 2010.
Eleven California products exceeded $1 billion in receipts for 2010, up from eight products in 2009. Eight of the eleven commodities registered an increase in value. The commodity with the largest percentage increase was pistachios, at a 95% increase in value, making 2010 the first year pistachios have topped $1 billion. The value of walnuts also surpassed $1 billion for the first time. Pistachios and walnuts joined almonds, marking the first time more than one nut crop value exceeded $1 billion. The year was a banner year for nut crops, with almonds, pistachios and walnuts all setting records for production.
Final grower returns could change the sales values for the commodities, resulting in an updated dollar amount in next year’s report.