The farm receipts have been collected, the numbers have been tallied, and the results are in! With a total gross production value of $8,612,450,000, Tulare County has been named the top-producing agricultural county in the entire United States.
With Fresno County and Kern County claiming the silver and bronze medals for production, the Central Valley maintains its status as an agricultural powerhouse. California’s total agricultural production hovers just under $56 billion, meaning those three counties — which generated a combined $24,432,162,300 in 2022 — account for 44% of the state’s total production value.
Milk, Tulare’s biggest agricultural export, was partially responsible for the county’s first-place finish. Tulare produces more milk than anywhere else in the nation, and 2022’s gross value of $2,671,291,000 marks a 37% increase over the previous year’s numbers. Livestock and poultry rose by 12%, while vegetable crops increased by nearly 30%. Although fruit and nuts decreased by 10%, those commodities still fetched a significant value of $4,127,035,000.
In Fresno County, grapes were the area’s top crop with earnings of $1.24 billion, while almonds were the area’s most exported product, with 4,235 shipments in 2022 alone. That’s twice the number of shipments of the region’s second-best export, peaches.
According to Agricultural Commissioner Tom Tucker, Tulare’s versatility helped the county become the most productive region in America. “Tulare County’s agricultural strength is based on the diversity of the crops produced,” he wrote. “The 2022 crop report covers more than 150 different commodities, 41 of which have a gross value in excess of $1,000,000. Although individual commodities may experience difficulties from year to year, Tulare County continues to produce high-quality crops that provide food and fiber to more than 90 countries throughout the world.”
That doesn’t mean local growers are pausing their farming schedules to celebrate the area’s first-place finish. In Tulare, winter wheat is currently being planted, the pistachio and olive harvests have come to a close, soil is being prepped for winter plantings, and citrus products like Valencia oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are being picked for both domestic and international markets. It’s business as usual in America’s busiest agricultural headquarters… and for Tulare County, business is booming.