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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

California agriculture production ranks in top 10 worldwide

The UC Davis’ Agricultural Issues Center (AIC) has posted an unpublished report titled Agriculture’s Role in the Economy on their website so data analysts and researchers can begin to utilize the information.

The report includes information on agriculture in California, particularly its impact on California’s economy. It shows that California farming employs 7.3 percent of the state’s private sector labor force and accounts for 5.6 percent of the state labor income.

California agriculture is a significant part of the overall economy and, of course, a vital source for many food products, said Daniel Sumner, a professor of agriculture and resource economics and the AIC’s director. California places in the top 10 of the world’s agriculture rankings, ahead of countries such as Canada, Mexico, Germany and Spain.

This posted report is one chapter in the upcoming book The Measure of California Agriculture with more chapters to be posted coming this spring.

We decided not to wait for the rest of the material, Sumner said in an e-mail interview. Placing our [information] on the web when it is ready is a convenient way to get it to the people who are interested.

Also mentioned in the report is information on the contribution of agriculture on the Californian gross state product and its impact on regional economies, including Sacramento County, the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley. In addition, California’s agricultural production and its direct effect on the state’s economy is also included in the chapter.

[California] generates about $97.7 billion of the state’s total sales output, said Marcia Kreith, AIC staff and contributor to the report. Of that $97.7 billion, agricultural production and processing in the Central Valley – the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys combined – accounted for 43 percent.

The AIC is a statewide UC center based at Davis. It identifies and analyzes trends and policy issues affecting agriculture along with interlinked natural and human resources in California and the West Coast.

We undertook this study estimating agriculture’s value because the question of the role of California agriculture in the economy is a question often asked by decision makers such as county supervisors, legislators, government personnel, those in agribusiness, campus administrators and others, Kreith said in an e-mail.

California food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing establishments account for 15 percent of U.S. establishments and 11 percent of U.S. sales, according to the online report.

The number one [agricultural] product in California is milk, followed by grapes that are used for wine, table grapes, raisins and grape juice. Other fruits, tree nuts, vegetables and cattle complete the top 10, Sumner said.

The posted publication hopes to provide objective information and explain it in a non-technical way for people to easily decipher.

Our publication provides numbers for those people who want numbers, Kreith said. We developed accurate information and we tried hard to explain the meaning of those numbers to the public.

Commodity prices such as wheat and corn are shooting up, said Tom Rosen-Molina, economic analyst for the AIC.

For every dollarvalue added – labor and property income and indirect business taxes – in farming and agricultural related industries generates an additional $1.27 in the state economy, according to the report.

For more information about the report, go to aic.ucdavis.edu.


ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com.


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