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October 16, 2017
There are two major agricultural sectors, crops and animal products, and each accounted for about half of US farm sales of $375 billion in 2015, when crops were worth $190 billion and animal products $185 billion. Most US states mirror this 50-50 split between crop and livestock agriculture, but not California, a state where crops predominate. California has been the leading farm state since 1950 because of its production of high-value fruit and vegetable crops. California’s farm sales of $54 billion in 2014 included $39 billion worth of crops, making crops 72 percent of the state’s farm sales.
California farmers specialize in fruits and nuts, vegetables and melons, and other horticultural crops, including nursery crops, mushrooms, and other minor crops, so-called FVH crops. The US produced about $76 billion worth of FVH crops in 2014, including $30 billion worth of fruits and nuts, $19 billion worth of vegetables and melons, and $27 billion worth of other horticultural crops.
California produced $34 billion worth of FVH crops in 2014, including $21 billion worth of fruits and nuts, $8 billion worth of vegetables and melons, and $5 billion worth of other horticultural crops, that is, California accounted for 70 percent of the value of US fruits and nuts, 42 percent of vegetables and melons, and 19 percent of other horticultural crops.