The 2017 Sonoma County Crop Report was presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, by Sue Ostrom, Assistant Agricultural Commissioner. The reported gross value for agricultural production in 2017 was $894,182,900 representing a 0.45% decrease from 2016. This year’s crop report honors Sonoma County Farm Trails. Since 1973, Sonoma County Farm Trails has fostered a connection between farmers and consumers and has played an important role in educating the public about how their food is produced.
The slight overall decrease in value is attributed to a decrease in winegrape and apple tonnage as well as livestock and poultry products. Winegrapes saw a decrease of 8.9% in tonnage while the value per ton increased by 8.3%. Apple tonnage saw a decrease of nearly 43%, while price per ton increased 7% with continued demand and premium pricing for organic apples. Livestock and poultry products, such as eggs and milk, saw a decrease of 5% in market milk production coupled with a continuing decrease in milk value per unit. Nursery product value increased 8.3% due to an increase in landscape replacement across the county as more residents replace lawns with drought-resistant plants in response to rising costs. Field crops saw a decrease of 10% with a decrease of almost 40% in rye and oat silage crop harvested acreage.
Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar stated in summary, “The 2017 growing season was anything but ‘normal’ and included deluges of rain and heat waves. The welcome rainfall alleviated concerns over continued drought conditions and helped grapevines grow vigorously. Apple yields dropped significantly after a year of insufficient chill hours and rainfall during bloom. August delivered some of the longest, hottest periods seen in recent years, which resulted in the winegrape harvest starting with a sprint. I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to all of the agricultural producers whose participation made this report possible.”