Booming wine production despite historic drought

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures today presented to the Board of Supervisors the 2021 Sonoma County Crop Report, an annual account of local crop production and gross values ​​based on a survey of more than 1,000 producers in Sonoma County.

The total reported 2021 crop value for the county was $811,446,600, representing a 19.2% increase from the 2020 crop value of $680,648,600. The report reflects raw production values ​​and does not consider costs such as producing, processing and bringing the product to market. The report also does not include net farm income, but rather is intended for use by the community in economic development, tourism activities, funding, and identifying historical trends in local agricultural production.

“The 2021 report highlights the water-related challenges facing producers, including widespread shortages that in some cases require reducing operations, turning to alternative sources and changing cultural practices. said James Gore, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. “We must recognize the challenges of adapting to drought, climate change, and the ongoing threat of natural disaster, as we work to support a diverse and thriving agricultural industry in Sonoma County.”

2021 Sonoma County Crop Report Highlights:

The tonnage of wine grapes increased by 39.1% to 206,011 tonnes. The value of grapes per ton increased by 51% to reach $2,626 per ton or $540,954,500.

Apple tonnage was down 23% due to poor weather during bloom and continued drought stress. Apple prices per ton decreased by 11%, resulting in an overall decline in value of 24% compared to 2020.

The value of livestock and poultry products is down 21% from 2020. This is attributed to a 21% decline in organic and conventional milk production. The unit value of organic and conventional milk increased by 10.8% and 13.7%, respectively.

The value of wool production is down 47% from 2020 due to a lack of global demand for wool, including the type and quality of wool produced by commercial meat herds.

The value of nursery products increased by 30% compared to 2020 due to a 33% increase in sales of ornamental plants, a 47% increase in sales of miscellaneous nursery plants and an increase in 52% of cut flower sales. Bedding plants saw a 23.5% decline as more people cut back on these plantings to conserve water.

The Sonoma County Commissioner of Agriculture is required by state law to annually compile and report crop and livestock statistics, as well as pest exclusion, management, and eradication activities. pests to the Board of Supervisors and Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The 2021 Sonoma County Crops Report also includes a summary of the accomplishments of the agriculture, land stewardship, and county weights and measures divisions within the department. Data on non-agricultural crops, such as commercial fish landings and timber harvests, are also included from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Board of Equalization, respectively.

The 2021 Sonoma County Crop Report and related documents, including an addendum on cannabis and hemp production, are available here.

Sonoma County crop reports dating back to 1928 are available here.

Shirley M. Pinder