09/17/2019

California Ag Biz Loses Equivalent to Ebay Being Wiped Out, and it Could Get Worse

What if I told you California’s economy lost $9.6 billion in revenue last year? What if I told you the governor and the legislature didn’t care and didn’t think you would mind?

That’s exactly what happened.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced in October, “In 2015 California’s farms and ranches received approximately $47 billion for their output. This represents a decrease of nearly 17 percent compared to 2014.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said prior-year comparable receipts were $56.6 billion. That’s a revenue loss of $9.6 billion in a single year.

A $9.6 billion loss in revenue is equivalent to erasing the total sales of eBay ($9.4 billion) or eliminating MasterCard ($9.7 billion), both among California’s most productive corporations.

Governor Jerry Brown and Sacramento legislators ignored policy experts and family farmers and ranchers, signing bill after bill for years on end. The past sessions saw legislation that added sharp increases to labor costs, restricted use of the state’s water, curtailed property rights dating to our state’s founding, limited farmers’ uses of nutrient fertilizers and crop safety products, forced more costly production methods and expanded their compliance and bookkeeping costs.

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