The USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) has published the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture with new information about U.S farms and ranches and those who operate them, including first-time data about on-farm decision making, down to the county level.The 2017 Census of Agriculture data show the following facts about California agriculture:

  • Top commodities were: fruits and nuts with $17.5 billion in farmgate value, vegetables with $8.2 billion, milk with $6.5 billion, cattle and calves with $3.1 billion, and horticulture with $2.9 billion.
  • Total farm production expenses for California totaled $37.8 billion, up $2.3 billion from 2012.
  • The average age of the California farmer is 59.2, up from 57.9 in 2012.
  • At 14,552 farms, California is the top state using renewable energy producing systems in agriculture. Solar is the most common renewable energy producing system on farms and ranches in the Golden State.

In Napa County, the number of farms is 1,753, up from 1,521 in 2012, and acres harvest is 60,978, up from 52,180 in 2012. Wine grapes dominate the agricultural production of Napa County with 58,972 acres under vine. The estimated market value of land and buildings in Napa County is $44,154 per acre, which is quite high relative to the rest of the state.

Based on the data provided in this report, it is quite evident that agriculture continues to be the highest and best use land in Napa County. Agriculture has been the heart of the economy of the county for more than 200 years, and efforts by various members of the community to maintain continue today. The establishment of the Napa County Agricultural Preserve was the first step in decades of conservation, and our educational activities over the past several years have informed and educated many of the citizens of Napa County and the visitors who share in our bounty.