Crop revenue declines

Gross value of Butte County agriculture falls for third consecutive year

The gross value of local crops dropped more than $67 million—or about 9 percent—last year compared to 2015, according to the 2016 Butte County Crop Report released last week. The total value of the county’s crops in 2016 was $705 million, marking the third consecutive year income from local agriculture has declined. The top four money-making crops—walnuts ($235 million), almonds ($188 million), rice ($123 million) and prunes ($31 million)—remained in the same order as recent years. The prune harvest was negatively impacted by poor pollinating conditions, according to a press release from the county’s agricultural commissioner that accompanied the report; prunes’ value fell from $43 million in 2015. Despite the decreases, the 2016 gross remains 4 percent above a 10-year average of $680 million, and agriculture remains the area’s top-grossing industry.