The Fresno County agriculture commissioner has released the 2008 crop report. The state's largest farm county set another output record, $5.66 billion, up over $300 million from the 2007 record, and up $2.5 billion over the last decade. Congratulations to all those who contributed to the record. Not too many industries managed 6% revenue growth in 2008, and growth over each of the preceeding 7 years.
Lots of interesting shifts from 2007 to 2008. First, total harvested acres are up despite what were predicted to be devastating decreases to water supply. That's why value is up despite weaker prices than in 2007.
Cotton and vegetables are down (much of this probably on the west side), while field crops (to feed the expanding dairy herd) and nuts (especially almonds) are up.
The report describes the outlook for 2009 as "dire." It will be interesting to see the results. I expect 2009 will be down from the previous 2 years (then again I thought 2008 would be down listening to the political rhetoric about the devastation of the Smelt ruling). It may even look "dire" compared to the recent records. It will be interesting to see how the 2009 revenue change breaks down between reduced production and reduced prices.