Agricultural commodities exported from Kern County include almonds, apricots, beans, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, citrus, cotton lint and planting seed, grapes, hay, honeydew, lettuce, nectarines, nursery stock, peaches, plums, rose plants and watermelon. These commodities are shipped to over 85 foreign countries, with the Asian rim receiving a majority of the exports.
As the fourth most productive agricultural county in California, Kern County relies on water, which is the lifeblood of the industry. Careful water management practices have been developed by both the agricultural and urban sectors, and Kern County farmers are among the most skillful water managers through the use of highly efficient irrigation methods. Laser land-leveling also helps to achieve uniform water distribution.
With national and worldwide demands for food and fiber increasing, the agricultural and water communities of Kern County continue to develop technologies designed to meet future needs and requirements.
The 2009 total value of agricultural commodities produced in Kern County is $3,606,498,000 which is a decrease of -10.5% over the 2008 crop value.
The major factors affecting the decrease in total value from the 2008 crop values were significant price and acreage decreases in Field Crops, Livestock and Poultry, Livestock and Poultry Products, and Vegetable Crops.
These decreases were partially offset by increases in Fruit and Nut Crops and Seed Crops.
The top five commodities for 2009 were Grapes, Milk, Almonds, Carrots, and Citrus which make up more than $2.2 Billion of the Total Value.
The 2009 Kern County Crop Report can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards web-site:
Kern County Top 20 Crops 2009
1. Grapes, All $ 664,499,000
2. Milk, Market & Manufacturing 437,610,000
3. Almonds, Including By-Products 435,305,000
4. Carrots, Fresh & Processing 343,128,000
5. Citrus, All 332,926,000
6. Pistachios 331,120,000
7. Cattle & Calves 174,216,000
8. Hay, Alfalfa 106,144,000
9. Pomegranates, Fresh & Processing 99,018,000
10. Potatoes, All 99,926,000
11. Cotton, Including Processed Cottonseed 63,206,000
12. Tomatoes, Fresh & Processing 59,045,000
13. Silage & Forage 46,001,000
14. Apiary Products 41,423,000
15. Eggs 30,102,000
16. Bell Peppers, Fresh & Processing 28,844,000
17. Wheat 27,837,000
18. Nursery Fruit and Nut Trees & Vines 27,457,000
19. Roses 27,201,000
20. Onions 26,437,000
Total Gross Value: $3,401,445,000
Source: Kern County Dept. of Agriculture/Measurement Standards