( Courtesy Kern Co. Ag Commissioner's Office )

The values of Kern County’s top two crops in 2019 switched, with the almond crop higher than the value of its grape crop for the first time since 2011.

That includes almond by-products, and table grapes and raising and processing grapes, according to the Kern County Agriculture Commissioner’s Annual Report, published online Sept. 21. Without almond by-products and non-table grape varieties, the value of almonds still tops grapes, at $1.6 billion to $1.24 billion, according to the report.

The leading crops by sales value in Kern County, and their 2018 rankings, are:

  1. Almonds: including by-products, $1.64 billion, 2;
  2. Grapes: $1.43 billion, 1;
  3. Citrus, fresh and processing: $997.79 million, 4;
  4. Pistachios: $866.7 million, 3;
  5. Milk, market and manufacturing: $570.41 million; 5;
  6. Carrots, fresh and processing: $336.15 million, 6;
  7. Cattle and calves: $269.64 million, 7;
  8. Alfalfa: $140.72 million, 8;
  9. Pomegranates, fresh and processing: $122.1 million, 14;
  10. Apiary: $107.23 million, 9.

Other specialty crops rounding out the top 20 in 2019 were potatoes (11), fresh and processed garlic (13), blueberries (17), onions (18) and fresh and processed tomatoes (20).

Bearing acreage of the almond crop rose 3,000 acres from 2018 to 2019, to 226,000 acres, and bearing table grape acreage dropped 2,300 acres, to 60,400 acres, according to the report.

The overall value of all Kern County agricultural commodities in 2019 was $7.62 billion, a 2% increase from the previous year, according to the report.

The rankings and crop values don’t mean growers of those commodities saw greater or lower returns in 2019.

“The figures in this report represent only gross values and do not take into account the costs of production, marketing, transportation or other ancillary costs,” according to a letter from Kern County Commissioner Glenn Frankauser in the report. “No attempt is made to reflect net income or loss to the producers of these commodities.”

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