Sonoma Valley Sun


Sonoma County crop report: grape, apple values up; cannabis down

Posted on November 8, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The total value of agricultural crops grown in Sonoma County last year was nearly $800 million, according to the 2022 Sonoma County Crop Report, a figure slightly lower than last year.

The annual accounting of local agricultural commodity production and gross values, based on a survey of more than 1,000 Sonoma County producers, showed a total value of $796,024,800 — a 1.9 percent decrease in the 2021 value of $811,446,600.

Extreme weather was a major hit to several crop categories.

“As in recent years, Sonoma County growers and ranchers are forced to adapt to rising fuel and labor costs, dwindling water supplies and higher feed costs due to drought,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The bright spot in this year’s crop report is our local nursery industry, which continues to thrive because of demand from both agricultural producers and home gardeners.”

Highlights from the 2022 Sonoma County Crop Report:

  • Though winegrape tonnage decreased 7.3 percent, due to limited water availability and spring frosts, its value per ton increased to $2,869.62, a 1.2 percent increase. Total value:  $547.7 million.
  • Apple prices per ton increased 49 percent over 2021, resulting in an 8.5 percent increase to the prior year. Again, the overall apple tonnage decreased 8.2 percent due to freezing temperatures during bloom and continued drought stress.
  • Cannabis cultivation saw an 81.5 percent reduction in acreage and 80.5 percent decrease in production, which are attributed to reduced demand and market forces.
  • Livestock and poultry product values decreased 29 percent compared to 2021. This is attributed to a 46 percent decrease in organic and conventional milk production despite a 17.6 percent increase and 64.8 percent increase in organic and conventional milk value per unit, respectively.
  • The value of wool production decreased 78 percent from 2021 due to a lack of global demand for wool and an increase in sheep predation.
  • Nursery products value increased 14.3 percent from 2021 due to a 24.6 percent increase in bedding plant sales, a 16.6 percent increase in miscellaneous nursery plant sales, and a 13.5 percent increase in cut flower sales. Christmas trees saw a 30.1 percent decrease due to a low cycle in tree growth because of drought.

The report reflects gross production values, not net income and does not account for costs involved with production, processing, and bringing the commodity to market. The report also does not include net farm income.

The Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner is required by state law to annually compile and report crop and livestock statistics to the Board of Supervisors and the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Photo credit: Sonoma County Winegrowers

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