According to a report released today by the county’s agricultural commissioner, agriculture raked in more than $2 billion in 2009. Decreased values in a number of crops and commodities led to a 6.5 percent drop from 2008’s historic high of $2.13 billion.
One of the goods to take a hit was dairy. According to commissioner Scott Hudson, milk production historically leads the county’s agricultural sector. This year, however, grape sales — spurred by the county’s burgeoning wine industry — topped the list of San Joaquin County commodities.
Field crops, such as hay and corn, seed crops and nursery numbers also declined from 2008 to 2009, as did livestock prices, according to Hudson.
But farmers tending vegetable crops saw a 33 percent surge.
Hudson also made special note of the county’s growing olive oil industry. He estimated that about 10,000 olive trees will be added each year in the county through the next decade.