County of Marin - News Releases - Livestock and Crop Report

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2018

Marin’s Livestock and Crops Slip 10% in Value

Total gross value of 2017 products is $87,198,000

San Rafael, CA – Although milk remains far and away the top agricultural commodity produced by Marin County farmers and ranchers, sharply lower milk prices contributed to a 10 percent decline in value for all local livestock and crops in 2017.

Cows sitting in a green pasture in West Marin.As has the rest of the country, Marin has seen a drop in the gross value of organic milk.
Marin County’s Agriculture Commissioner, Stacy Carlsen, presented his annual report to the Board of Supervisors on June 19 and said the total gross value of all products was $87,198,000, down from $96,506,000 a year ago.

Milk accounted for 39 percent of the total gross value of Marin livestock and crops, holding the No. 1 spot but down from 45 percent in 2016. The total value of milk products was $34,153,000, which is 21 percent below the 2016 number. The value of organic milk plunged 22 percent from $36.85 per 100 pounds (or hundredweight) to $30.02. Production of both conventional and organic milk was down 4.8 percent in 2017 following a fall of 5 percent the previous year. Milk production was only slightly lower compared to 2017.

“The overall decline is primarily related to the reduced organic milk prices, largely due to the supply side,” Carlsen said. “There’s been some concern about large and ultra-large organic production of organic milk in other states and that is influencing the price nationwide.”

Poultry ($17,816,000), harvested pasture ($10,934,000) and cattle ($10,784,000) were the next highest-grossing agricultural products last year. With a 2 percent increase, cattle values rebounded slightly from a whopping 53 percent decline in 2016. There were 14,398 head of cattle valued at $749 apiece in 2017, according to the new statistics.

Carlsen said two-thirds of Marin’s gross agricultural values are built around the organic system. There are more than 36,000 acres in organic production in Marin.

“There is a bigger statement to be made about our agriculture in Marin County in that (farmers) are taking virtually every step possible to be sustainable and produce the highest quality, high-value commodities that are safe to eat and reflects the benefits to the environment,” he said. “That’s a statement about our system that often gets overlooked. We’ve set some of the highest standards in the United States.”

Among the good news in the report was a 17 percent increase in the value of fruits and vegetables ($3,987,000) and a 14 percent increase in aquaculture ($5,414,000). On the down side, nursery products fell 33 percent ($243,000) and silage – a mixture of raw natural materials used for winter livestock feed – was down 23 percent ($499,000).

Looking back at the 10-year trend in agricultural values, the 2017 total was just above the year-by-year average.

All Marin County Livestock and Crop reports are online, including the new one. Reports are sent to the state Department of Agriculture to be included in statewide reports.


Stacy Carlsen
Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures

1682 Novato Blvd.
Suite 150-A
Novato, CA 94947
(415) 473-6700
Email: Stacy Carlsen
AWM website