50 State Agricultural Rankings

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California

Agriculture

The tables below offer information about California agriculture from the general agricultural groups to the more specific commodities or products. The ranking assigned to a given commodity is based on the commodity's cash receipts; how much money it made.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004

As you can see from the table below, California ranks 1st among the states for total agricultural production and for total crop production. Only Texas surpasses California in the production of livestock and livestock products.

California's crop production dollars total more than 2 1/2 times the dollars generated by livestock and livestock products.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004
Product Group Value ($1,000) % State total State rank
All commodities 31,835,183 100.0% 1
Livestock products 8,623,140 27.1% 2
Crops 23,212,042 72.9% 1
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

California's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004

This table lists California's top commodities in each of California's two agriculutural groups, livestock and crops.

California's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004
Livestock products % State total Crop products % State total
Dairy products 16.9% Greenhouse/nursery 10.5%
Cattle and calves 5.1% Grapes 8.7%
Chicken eggs 0.9% Almonds 6.9%
    Lettuce 4.6%
    Strawberries 3.8%
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

California is the top producer of agricultural products in the nation. It produces a wide array of commodities but, its single most valuable category is dairy products. In the livestock group, production of cattle and calves is also important to the state, as is, to a lesser degree, the value of California eggs. Broilers can be counted among the state's top livestock products but, because data are not available, it's not possible to determine where they rank among the other commodities.

Among a broad range of crop products, California's greenhouse and nursery products rank at the top of the list. Grapes, almonds, lettuce, and strawberries round out the top five most valuable California crops.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004

This table offers a more complete view of the most important agricultural products of California.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004
Product Value ($1,000) % State Value
1. Dairy products 5,365,992 16.9%
2. Greenhouse/nursery 3,328,147 10.5%
3. Grapes 2,758,467 8.7%
4. Almonds 2,200,055 6.9%
5. Cattle and calves 1,633,740 5.1%
6. Lettuce 1,462,331 4.6%
7. Strawberries 1,218,860 3.8%
8. Tomatoes 1,090,589 3.4%
9. Cotton 772,711 2.4%
10. Broccoli 625,721 2.0%
11. Hay 603,344 1.9%
12. Oranges 577,326 1.8%
13. Pistachios 444,160 1.4%
14. Walnuts 438,750 1.4%
15. Avocados 365,371 1.1%
16. Rice 329,317 1.0%
17. Onions 313,534 1.0%
18. Chicken eggs 288,412 0.9%
19. Lemons 284,413 0.9%
20. Celery 265,081 0.8%
21. Peaches 251,254 0.8%
22. Potatoes 217,782 0.7%
23. Plums and prunes 195,389 0.6%
Broilers (9-12 week old chickens) *    
Carrots *    
* Commodities at the bottom of the above ranked list of commodities and having no accompanying data would have appeared within the ranked list of leading commodities, but were excluded to avoid disclosure of confidential information about individual producers.
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Broilers and carrots are among the top 25 commodities produced in California but, because specific data are not available, it is not known how they rank among the others.

The 2004 table above contains information about California agricultural production provided by the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture.

The first column of the table lists the product (commodity).

The second column of the table lists a number representing the dollar value of the product. This number is not the dollar value of the product. This number represents the dollar value of the product in thousands of dollars. For example, the number listed for the value of dairy products produced in California is 5,365,992. This number represents a dollar value of $5,365,992,000 (5,365,992 x 1,000): five billion, three hundred and sixty-five million, nine hundred and ninety-two thousand dollars.

The third column of the table lists the percent (part) of the total agricultural value produced in California. For example, dairy products account for 16.9% of California's total agricultural production value. The dollars generated by the production of dairy products comprise a little more than 1/6 of California's total agricultural production.

National ranking highlights - 2004

  • Ranks first in total agricultural production.
  • Ranks first in total crops production.
  • Ranks second in total livestock & livestock product production.
  • Ranks first in production of almonds (100% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of avocados (96% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of broccoli (92% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of celery (93% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of dairy products (20% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of grapes (91% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of greenhouse/nursery (21% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of hay (14% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of lemons (89% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of lettuce (71% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of onions (31% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of peaches (54% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of pistachio nuts (100% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of plums (97% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of strawberries (83% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of tomatoes (53% of U.S. production).
  • Ranks first in production of walnuts (100% of U.S. production).

California farms and farmland - 2004

Because of different rounding methods (e.g., farm acres given by the National Argriculture Statistics Service), percentage of farmland per state should be considered a rough estimate.

California farms and farmland - 2004
Number of farms Total farm acres Percent of state Average farm size (acres)
77,000 26,719,000 27% 347
Source: USDA:National Agriculture Statistics Service


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