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Economy

California Agriculture Sales Drop Nearly 17 Percent In 2015

Farmer Kevin Herman stands next to an almond sweeper at his ranch near Madera, Calif. on Dec. 27, 2016.
Associated Press
Farmer Kevin Herman stands next to an almond sweeper at his ranch near Madera, Calif. on Dec. 27, 2016.

California farms and ranches saw a nearly 17 percent drop in sales from 2014 to 2015, according to a new review.

While California remains the leading agricultural state nationwide, global prices on certain commodities had a big effect on the state's farms and ranches. Prices farmers could get for almonds and dairy products skyrocketed in 2014. Those are the state's two highest-valued commodities.

Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau, said in 2015, prices plummeted. He also said longshoreman at all the west coast ports went on a reduced work schedule in 2015, and that affected sales.

"Loading outgoing containers, a lot of folks couldn't bring imports in the for the Christmas season," he said. "We couldn't get product out that was sold but not delivered. By the time that all got itself worked out in April and May, the southern hemisphere came in and took a lot of our markets away."

Agricultural economists believe that farm revenue and exports increased in 2016. That data has not yet been released.

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