A worker at the Fowler Packing Co. places bags of oranges into boxes to be sent to stores. Photo by David Castellon

published on August 22, 2017 - 12:18 PM
Written by David Castellon

Combined sales of agricultural commodities in Fresno County declined by about $482 million last year compared to 2015.

And county Agricultural Commissioner Les Wright credited a drop in value of some crops and scant surface water supplies as the main reasons the total sales of crops, livestock and other farm-related goods dropped 7.23 percent to $6.18 billion in 2016 compared to the previous year.

Almonds continued to be the top-selling crop last year, with sales of the nuts and hulls totaling $1.99 billion, more than 19 percent of all sales of agricultural commodities produced in Fresno County in 2016.

Grapes held the No. 2 spot, with more than $708.7 million in sales, despite being down from $896.295 million in sales in 2015.

Among the top 10 best-selling commodities last year, poultry, cattle and calves, tomatoes and milk retained their rankings of third through sixth, respectively.

Pistachios took a big jump, from a ranking of 12th in 2015 to seventh last year thanks to sales totaling $253.1 million. That exceeded 2015 sales by more than $85.3 million.

Garlic held onto its No. 8 spot in in the 2016 rankings, while oranges were bumped up to ninth from a 10th-place spot in 2015, while peaches dropped to 10th place from seventh place after sales of the stone fruit declined to $190.3 million in 2016 after acreage shrank.

Fresno County was the second most productive agricultural county in the U.S. in 2015, with Tulare County ranking first.

But Tulare County isn’t expected to release its annual crop report until next month, so it isn’t clear which county was on top for 2016 agricultural sales.

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