California is the most populated state in the U.S., and has the third largest land area. The agricultural industry is one of the key contributors to the state’s economy. It is interesting to note that if California were its own country, it would rank in the top ten largest world economies and be the 35th most populated country.
The Central Valley region of California serves as the agricultural center of the state. Approximately one-third of the country’s food is grown in this area. When people migrated to the west after the 1869 completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, they found that California land subject to summer irrigation was perfect for agricultural purposes. They began growing wheat and other cereal crops, vegetables, cotton, and fruit and nut trees. Fruit trees included the famous Southern California orange crops.
Over the past thirty years, farming-related sales have more than quadrupled, reaching $31 billion in the year 2004. This is impressive, considering there was a 15 percent drop in state farming acreage and a chronically unstable supply of water during this time. Technological advances in crop production and more intensive farmland use contributed to the growth.
For over 50 consecutive years, California has held the spot of number one agricultural producer in the U.S. The state supplies over half the fruit, vegetables, and nuts necessary for U.S. consumption. Leading crops include grapes, almonds, artichokes, figs, dates, kiwifruit, persimmons, olives, pistachio nuts, raisins, prunes, walnuts, and clovers. The state is also the leading U.S. producer of strawberries and a major producer of onions and green onions.
The crop most commonly exported from California is almonds. Twelve percent of the strawberries harvested are exported to Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, Mexico, and Canada. It is clear that California is a major contributor to the agricultural industry within this country.
Related posts:Farming Advice