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CALIFORNIA

Agricultural Giant

September 19, 1997

California is home to the largest agricultural economy in the nation, with cash farm receipts and income totaling a record $24.5 billion in 1996. The state, which devotes about a third of its 100 million acres to agricultural uses, produces 55% of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables. In 1996, milk and cream led the list of the state's top 20 farm products, making California the nation's No. 1 dairy state. California's top 20 farm products in 1996, ranked by sales in billions of dollars (1995 figures in parentheses):

Milk and cream: $3.72 ($3.08)

Grapes: 2.16 (1.86)

Nursery products: 1.61 (1.50)

Cattle and calves: 1.15 (1.30)

Cotton: 1.07 (1.05)

Almonds: 1.01 (0.88)

Hay: 0.81 (0.78)

Lettuce (head): 0.74 (1.06)

Flowers and foliage: 0.70 (0.67)

Tomatoes (processing): 0.66 (0.66)

Strawberries: 0.59 (0.61)

Oranges: 0.53 (0.47)

Chickens: 0.46 (0.38)

Broccoli: 0.37 (0.37)

Eggs (chicken): 0.37 (0.29)

Walnuts: 0.32 (0.33)

Rice: (0.29 (0.31)

Carrots: 0.27 (0.27)

Wheat: 0.26 (0.14)

Peaches: 0.25 (0.19)

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture

Researched by JENNIFER OLDHAM / Los Angeles Times

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