Tulare County Surpasses Fresno in Ag Value According to 2013 Report

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By Tricia Stever Blattler

Fresno County released its 2013 Annual Crop and Livestock Report on Tuesday, July 15 at the Board of Supervisors meeting presented by the County Agriculture Commissioner, Les Wright. Tulare County released its annual report a week earlier reflecting a $7.8 billion dollar gross production value, exceeding Fresno County's $6.4 billion for the 2013 year.

"Tulare County's diversity in the different crops we produce is amazing," says Tulare County Farm Bureau President, Joey Airoso. "It's a tribute to the many hardworking agriculture families in our county. Even though it is a friendly rivalry amongst the farm counties, it also underscores the importance of looking ahead and fixing our natural and man-made drought situation, and all of our rural and urban counties must pull together and fight for more water, more storage, and less environmental overreach."

All top five commodities in Tulare County showed a gain in value in 2013, including the dairy sector which accounts for 26% of the overall value. All commodity sectors including fruits and nuts, seed crops, nursery products and vegetable crops also increased in value, except for a decrease in field crops by 6.5%.

"This is our third year in a row that Tulare County had the highest gross value ever recorded by the agriculture industry," Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner, Marilyn Kinoshita, reported to the County Board of Supervisors. "It reflects almost a 26% increase from the previous year."

Coupled with Tulare County's increases and Fresno County's significant decreases in value within field crops, seed crops, industrial crops as well as livestock and poultry factored into Tulare County surpassing Fresno County in production value for the 2013 crop year.

"Always remember, per capita, Tulare County is always number one," commented local Assemblywoman Connie Conway on the recent report. "Other counties can claim they have more, but on per capita and per acreage, we in Tulare County are number one."

This is not the first time Tulare County has surpassed Fresno County, it held the top spot back in 2001. Kern County has yet to release its 2013 production numbers; they are expected to release their report in August.

"Our agriculture here is well known around the world and there is a high demand and love for our products. I do believe Tulare County will continue to keep the pace," shares Airoso.

Tulare County is the largest dairy producing county in the nation and ranks first in California for gross farm receipts. The Tulare County Farm Bureau represents more than 2,200 family farmers in the county and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the viability of Tulare County agriculture.