The farmers of Stanislaus County topped $3 billion in gross income for the first time last year, according to a report presented Tuesday.
Almonds and walnuts had an outstanding 2011, while prices improved for milk, still the top-grossing product, Agricultural Commissioner Gary Caseri told the Board of Supervisors.
The $3.07 billion total is 18 percent more than the record $2.57 billion for 2010 and more than double the 2003 figure.
Caseri cautioned, as usual, that the report does not reflect production costs, notably the high feed costs that have squeezed dairy profit margins.
But the report notes how the income ripples through the economy. Farmers spend money on tractors, pesticides, labor and other needs. People process crops, haul the goods and do other work related to producing food.
"The number of businesses allied with agriculture either as a supplier, a processor of raw goods or as a handler of finished products is quite astonishing," the report says.
AT A GLANCE
The top 10 for 2011 gross income in Stanislaus County:
1. Milk $766.2 million
2. Almonds $628.3 million
3. Chickens $220.1 million
4. Cattle $207.6 million
5. Walnuts $175.7 million
6. Silage (feed) $156.3 million
7. Tomatoes $91 million
8. Deciduous nursery $71.4 million
9. Alfalfa $70.1 million
10. Turkeys $67.2 million