Agriculture around the region is big business. So much so that it nearly accounted for $1 billion in business in Colusa County last year, according to the most recent crop report released by the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.
Last year, Colusa County saw an increase of $24.5 million in agricultural production compared to 2017, for a total gross production value of $907,154,000. Agriculture is the county’s biggest producing industry.
“The gross value for almonds in the amount of $325,839,000 exceeded the value of rice at $233,874,000 as the top commodity. Walnuts, processing tomatoes and miscellaneous fruit and vegetable crops were three, four and five, respectively,” said Gregory Hinton, Colusa County ag commissioner.
Despite a decrease in prices of nearly $300 per ton, almonds were able to retain top spot due to an increase of more than 4,000 acres harvested, as well as a small increase in production per acre.
Rice saw a $22.7 million increase in production value compared to 2017. The commodity experienced a rise in value per ton of $19. That, along with an increase of nearly 10,000 acres harvested contributed to the jump in value.
The walnut crop took a significant hit in 2018 due to a drop in value per ton of nearly $1,000. Still, Colusa County’s crop saw an increase in acres harvested last year, which contributed to its total value of $61 million, down from $83.7 million in 2017.
Processing tomatoes saw a small decrease in total value last year – the commodity generated $49.2 million in 2018 compared to $51.2 million in 2017. The biggest factor was a decrease of 700 acres harvested compared to 2017.
Rounding out the top five commodities was miscellaneous fruit and nut crops, which had a total agricultural value of $30 million in 2018, up nearly $1.5 million from the year before.
Gross value of the top five commodities accounted for approximately 77 percent of the total gross value of commodities within the county, Hinton said.
In addition, 39 producers of organic commodities – alfalfa, almonds, asparagus, rice, walnuts and various row crops – generated $11,650,000 in agricultural production value in 2018.
The 2018 Colusa County Crop Report was submitted to the Board of Supervisors during a meeting in August.