The Agricultural Commissioner is required by law to annually compile and report crop and livestock statistics as well as pest exclusion, management and eradication activities to the Board of Supervisors and the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner has compiled the annual Crop Report every year since 1928 and all 84 Crop Reports are available on the department’s website www.sonoma-county.org/agcomm/crop_report.htm.
The annual Crop Report provides an accounting of Sonoma County agricultural commodity production and gross values (not net farm income) and is used in the community as a valuable resource for economics, tourism, financing, and history for the County. The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office activities are also highlighted in the report, and include a summary of accomplishments for the Agriculture and Weights and Measures Divisions, and supplemental statistics related to the Grading and Drainage, and Orchard and Vineyard Site Development Ordinance. Data on non-agricultural crops such as commercial fish landings and timber harvests are also included from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Board of Equalization respectively.
This year’s Crop Report spotlights our winegrape industry, which had a record crop in 2012 at 267,062 tons of grapes valued at $582,942,100. Ideal growing conditions contributed to the 60% increase in tonnage while prices were up overall by 4.7%. In an effort to promote Sonoma County, the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office collaborated with Sonoma County Winegrowers staff for this year’s Crop Report cover highlighting the brand mark that debuted in 2012 and the feature story. Winegrapes have been a vital part of Sonoma County’s agricultural heritage from the 19th century through today.
The 2012 total gross production value of all crops was $821,345,000, a 41% increase from 2011. This is the gross value and does not account for costs such as production, processing, and bringing the commodity to market. The increase in gross value for 2012 is attributed primarily to a nearly 66% increase in fruit and nut crop value, followed by value increases of 36% for nursery products, 24% for field crops, and 16% for vegetable crops. Decreases in values were seen in apples (-29%) and livestock and poultry products, such as eggs and milk (-7%).
This data is provided through surveying more than 1,000 Sonoma County producers. In an effort to increase participation for the 2012 report, a new electronic survey form was made available on the Agricultural Commissioner’s website and circulated through collaboration with our community partners. I would like to thank all of the producers who took the time to fill out and return the survey. Without the support and response to these surveys this report would not be possible.