Placer agriculture value increases 25 percent in 2018, rice ranked top product for the year

Published on September 24, 2019
Rice fields from above

Ideal weather conditions in 2018 led to an increase in Placer County’s planted rice acreage, driving a 25% increase in total crop value.

That’s according to the 2018 Placer County Agricultural Crop Report, presented to the county Board of Supervisors as an informational item today at their meeting today in Auburn. Placer County's total gross value of agricultural crops and products for 2018 was $72,702,890. This represents an increase of $14,643,890, or 25% above 2017's value of $58,059,000.

The annual totals reflect the gross value of agricultural crops and products, not the net incomes producers receive.

Following 2017's wet spring and subsequent reduction in planted acres, rice regained its spot as Placer County's top- grossing crop with a value of $20,021,000.

“Last year was the first time in more than a decade rice was replaced as the county’s top grossing crop,” explained Joshua Huntsinger, the county’s agricultural commissioner and sealer of weights and measures. “It was great to see rice acreage return to normal, which contributed to the $14 million increase to the overall agriculture value in Placer County.”

Placer County’s top five crops for 2018 were:

  • Rice: $20,021,000, up 140%,

  • Cattle and calves: $14,651 ,000, up 77%, 

  • Nursery stock: $7,558,000, down 10%, 

  • Timber: $5,045,000, down 14%; and 

  • Walnuts: $4,573,000, down 5%.

Total values were up for high-profile crops like mandarin oranges, grapes and wine that often are sold at local farmers’ markets and other direct-marketing outlets like wineries and farm stands. Mandarins were up 27% at $2.6 million, wine grapes were up 29% to $1.4 million and strawberries jumped 92% to $220,000.

For more information, contact the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at 530-889-7372. A copy of the 2018 Crop Report is available online here.

In related news, the Board of Supervisors also today proclaimed October as PlacerGROWN month. The annual recognition month celebrates the county’s award-winning agriculture bounty and heritage through a series of agriculture-themed community events. A full list of PlacerGROWN events is available here