With nearly $1 billion in business revenue last year, agriculture continues to be the biggest industry in Colusa County, according to the most recent crop report released by the agricultural commissioner.
Colusa County saw an increased gross production value of $24.8 million in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to the report, for a total of $932.9 million.
“The gross value for almonds in the amount of $302,513,000 exceeded the value of rice at $280,208,000 as the top commodity,” said Gregory Hinton, Colusa County ag commissioner. “Walnuts, processing tomatoes and apiary pollination of almonds were three, four and five respectively.”
Retaining the top commodity spot, even with production per acre decreased, the price of almonds increased by $1,000 per ton in 2019 and nearly 70,000 acres were harvested.
Rice saw a $46.3 million increase in production value compared to 2018, despite a decrease of 900 acres harvested. The commodity experienced a rise in value per ton of $77.
The walnut crop grossed $85,680,000 in 2019 – a rise of more than $20 million – after taking a significant hit in 2018 due to a drop in value per ton of nearly $1,000. The price of walnuts per ton rose again in 2019 by more than $700 for a total value per unit price of $2,100. Nearly 2,000 additional acres were also harvested in 2019, contributing to the increased gross.
Processing tomatoes saw a slight decrease in total value again in 2019 and the commodity generated $45,2 million last year compared to $49.2 million in 2018. The biggest factor of the dropoff was a decrease of 1,720 acres harvested compared to the previous year.
Rounding out the top five commodities was apiary pollination of almonds, which had a total agricultural value of $28.8 million in 2019, up nearly $1.73 million from the year before.
Apiary pollination of almonds replaced miscellaneous fruit and nut crops as the fifth highest grossing commodity within Colusa County in 2019 compared to the previous year by a margin of $4.8 million. Miscellaneous fruit and nut crops had a total value of $24 million in 2019, a decrease of $6 million from 2018.
According to Hinton, the gross value of the top five commodities accounted for approximately 80 percent of the total gross value of commodities within the county.
Additionally, 28 producers of organic commodities – including almonds, beef, corn, rice, walnuts, wheat and various seed row crops – generated $8 million agricultural production value in 2019.