THE SLEEPING GIANT OF YOLO COUNTY AGRICULTURE
By Dave Rosenberg
Yolo County Supervisor, District Four
When we think of Yolo County, we think of agriculture. And when we think of agriculture in Yolo County, we think of tomatoes. And that’s certainly appropriate, as tomatoes are the number one farm product in Yolo County. In 1997, tomatoes were Number One on the Farm Products list with $84,586,000 in farm revenue.
But what was Number Two? The answer may surprise you!
As we count down the top ten farm products we see Honeydew Melons as Number 10 with $8,147,000. Number Nine is Safflower at $11,395,000. Number Eight is English Walnuts at $16,858,000. Next at Number Seven is Wheat at $17,344,000. Number Six is a Yolo County favorite, Rice at $18,651,000. Field Corn is Number Five with $20,060,000.
Now, we get into the big numbers.
Number Four in Yolo County are Seed Crops, reflective of the burgeoning seed industry which is making Yolo County the "silicon valley of seed." Seed Crops brought in $28,629,000. Number Three we see everywhere in Yolo County: Alfalfa Hay at $30,003,000.
And Number Two? Drum roll, please. Why it’s none other than Wine Grapes at $37,385,000! And that’s wonderful news. Yolo County is well-situated to begin to capture a growing share of the wine grape, and hopefully, the winery industry. After all, our neighboring county is Napa. We already have many acres dedicated to wine grapes, we have several growing wineries, and we have several more wineries and wine crushing operations looking at Yolo County as a base of operations.
As a member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, and as Chairman of the Yolo County Economic Development Council, I have been working with my colleagues on the Board to encourage the growth of agriculture, to ensure that it stays competitive, and to preserve our farmland for this and future generations.