California farm cash receipts hold steady at $31.7 billion

California farm and ranch producers received $31.71 billion for their products last year, while the Golden State's farm revenues were more than the combined totals of No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Iowa. The '05 revenue was up fractionally from ‘04s $31.68 billion.

The cash receipts statistics were issued by the USDA, NASS, California Field Office and the USDA Economic Research Service.

Even though the overall tally remained virtually the same as the previous year, major changes were apparent for individual commodities. Receipts for wine grapes rose 38 percent to $2.21 billion on the heels of the largest grape crush in the state's history.

Other large increases in cash receipts were shown for American Pima cotton, up 238 percent; grapefruit, up 92 percent; and Valencia oranges, up 53 percent.

Meanwhile, most vegetable crops showed smaller cash receipts, including artichokes, spinach and watermelon, all of which had revenue declines of more than 40 percent.

California's dairy sector, which leads the nation in production, showed a 3 percent decline in value, to $5.22 billion, because of lower prices paid to producers for milk.

The 10 leading commodities in California last year were ranked: (1) milk; (2) all grapes; (3) nursery products; (4) almonds; (5) cattle; (6) lettuce (all types); (7) hay; (8) strawberries; (9) flowers; and (10) tomatoes (all types).

California's agricultural sector continued to lead the nation in 2005 with 13.3 percent of the U.S. value, the same percentage of the national total as the previous year.

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