Agri-Stats: California Ag

California Ag: 

  • Has nearly 78,000 farms and $42 billion in annual revenue – about 12% of the U.S. total.
  • Is responsible for about 16% of national cash receipts for crops and 7% of US revenue for livestock and livestock products.
  • Includes “more than 400 commodities,” and produces “nearly half of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States.”
  • Export revenue reached $18 billion as recently as 2012, up from $6.5 billion the previous decade.5
  • $1 billion in agricultural exports supports roughly 8,400 jobs.
  • “Applied” water use by category:
    • Urban: 10%
    Irrigated Agriculture: 41%
    • Managed Wetlands: 2%
    • Required Delta Outflow: 6.5%
    • In-stream Flow: 8.5%
    • Wild & Scenic Rivers: 31%
  • Lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, and many other fruits and vegetables are made of 90% water or more.
  • “Inflation-adjusted gross revenue for California agriculture increased about 88 percent between 1967 and 2010, from $19.9 billion to $37.5 billion.”
  • Total applied water use to crops in California was reduced by 20% between 1967-2010, from 31.2 million acre-feet (MAF) to 24.9 MAF.
  •  “Economic efficiency” of irrigation water more than doubled in the last half century, as prices for water increased. For example, prices increased from $638 per acre-foot in 1967 to $1,506 per acre-foot in 2010.
  • In an average year (pre-drought), agriculture would irrigate about 9.6 million acres with 34 Million Acre-Foot of water, or about one-third of the available surface water supplies.
  • Between 1970 and 2010, low-volume techniques were used to irrigate nearly 3 million acres and the use of gravity irrigation fell
    substantially.
  • Low volume irrigation techniques can achieve an efficiency rate of between 80% and 90%.
  •  In 1991 gravity irrigation (furrow or flood) was used by 67% of farmers. By 2011 that number fell to 43%.
  • The Agricultural Water Management Council (AWMC) has so far united 7,814 “agricultural water suppliers and four environmental organizations committed to implementing efficient groundwater management plans.”

Source: CDFA

Reposted from August 20, 2014 Facebook Post.

Agri-Musing: California Ag

California Ag is a powerhouse. It impacts our culture, social fabric, labor, economy, and environment locally, nationally and globally. 

It affects the lives of those who depends on California food.

It is a wild mix of juxtapositions: cosmopolitan/provincial, worldly/insulated, traditional/innovative, optimistic/pessimistic, wealthy/impoverished, hierarchical/autonomous, competitive/co-dependent, and experienced/novel. The list could go on and on. 

Facts and figures tell the story for those who can’t drive the valleys, watch the rows tick by, smell the harvest, feel the wind, bite the dust, smell the rain, get their boots dirty or grab a handful of soil.