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California Ranks No. 1 in 2012 Ag Census

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the final 2012 Census of Agriculture results on May 2. The report contains a wide range of information about what agricultural products were raised in the United States in 2012, and where, how and by whom they were grown.

Once again, California ranks No. 1 in the U.S., with nine of the top 10 counties in the country in terms of agricultural sales. Fresno County ranked highest, with ag sales greater than those in 23 entire states. California’s eight other top 10 counties are: Tulare, Kern, Monterey, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Imperial and Kings.

The market value of agricultural products sold in California totals $42.6 billion, up $9.7 billion from the last census in 2007. Sales of almonds alone in 2012 totaled $4.3 billion, according to the census. Average farm size nationwide is 421 acres, but the census reports the vast majority of almond farm operations are fewer than 100 acres, with 60% under 50 acres.

ABC is in the process of mining the data to better understand the implications for the almond industry and will publish additional data as available.

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