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County Ag Receipts Top $3.2 Billion Mark
SJ county

Agriculture — no matter how you look at it — is big in San Joaquin County.

In 2022 there were 3,430 farms, almost all small family-owned concerns. Agricultural land accounted for 84.97 percent — or 1,207 square miles — of the county’s 1,421 square miles.

There were 15,000 people employed in farming related jobs from the fields, orchards, and dairies to processing and support, according to the state Economic Development Department.

Commodities grown in San Joaquin County were exported to more than 80 nations with almonds leading the way.

Overall production in San Joaquin County reached $3.2 billion.

Based on that, San Joaquin County — if it were a free-standing state — would rank between Maryland (36th at $3.9 million in annual ag production) and Utah (37th at $3 million in annual ag production).

The 2022 number represents a 1.6 percent increase over 2021.

It is against that background that the San Joaquín County Board of Supervisors was presented with the 2022 crop report by Agricultural Commissioner Kamaljit Bagri during their recent meeting.

Milk toppled almonds that led the 2021 ag production at $453,764,000. Milk in 2022 generated $626,472,000 in production to rank as the county’s top agricultural commodity.

The rest of the 2022 top five included grapes at No. 2 with $421,061,000; almonds at No. 3 with $297,177,000; cherries at No. 4 with $279,998,000, and eggs/chickens at No. 5 with $174,580,000.

The balance of the top 10 were walnuts at No. 6 with $145,997,000; cattle and calves at No. 7 with $128,954,000; tomatoes at No. 8 with $114,174,000; hay at No. 9 with $113,322,000, and corn/silage at No. 10 with $88,286,000.

It should be noted all production figures are gross value of the actual commodities produced.

The numbers do not reflect net proceeds after expenses are factored into the equation.

Milk production value soared $180 million from 2021 levels.

The 40.50 percent jump was due to an increase in prices by the Federal Milk Marketing Orders.

“The theme for the 2022 Crop Report is Farm to Fork,” said Bagri. “San Joaquin County is home to 3,430 farms so the transparency and sustainability of the Farm to Fork movement, which shortens the supply chain and connects farmers directly with consumers, is a natural fit for a county like ours.”

Pumpkins — the signature crop Manteca celebrates each year in October — came in at $17.3 million.

The 57,900 tons harvested from 2,250 acres primarily in the Manteca, Ripon, and Tracy area accounts for almost 70 percent of California’s annual pumpkin production.

Manteca also is ground zero for San Joaquin County being the state’s largest watermelon producing area by far.

In 2022, some 80,100 tons of watermelon were harvested from 2,030 acres for an overall value of $34.2 million.

“One of the things that makes our County and communities so special is our proximity to agriculture,” noted Supervisor Robert Rickman, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Commissioner Bagri and her team play an essential role in not only protecting and advocating for our County’s largest economic driver, but also in supporting the tenants of the Farm to Fork movement, my favorite of which is certifying the County’s nine Farmer’s Markets.”