How Did California Farmers Turn This Desert State into an Agricultural Superpower?

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The Midwest has been called the breadbasket of America, with the Great Plains region growing much of the grains the country depends on for some of its most vital foodstuffs. Texas is home to almost as many cattle as human beings, and is both the economic and cultural heart of the American cattle ranch industry. But in the past century, it’s California that has established itself as the dominant agricultural center of the United States.

Not only is California one of the largest economies in the entire world, but it is by far the largest agricultural center and crop producer in the entire country. When it comes to cash crops and exports, the Golden State’s top three exports are almonds, dairy products, wine, and although the state doesn’t like to admit it publicly, marijuana. But California’s farmers are also the nation’s top producers of 66 separate crops, including artichokes, almonds, pistachios, olives, raisins, kiwifruit, pomegranates, walnuts, and many, many more.

And although parts of California are currently going through a drought at present, it still remains the most important agricultural producer in North America, providing much of the produce and dairy the other 49 states in the union depend on so much. So how did California become the center of American farming?

The state has ideal soil and moisture and boasts a year-round growing season thanks to the famous California sunshine. The state also specializes in the production of particularly expensive crops to produce, like almonds and pistachios. Not only that, but in just a few short decades, Northern California farmers established themselves as some of the most skilled wine producers in the entire world. Napa Valley came out of nowhere to establish itself as one of the best wine-making regions on planet earth.

But despite California’s reputation for farming, it’s also increasingly a hot destination for ranchers as well. Both central and northern California ranches for sale have been growing in value for decades, as investors and ranchers alike look for large, hot-ticket properties in one of the most sought-after regions of the country. And as a key producer of the nation’s dairy products, ranches with prime grazing lands will continue to play a crucial role in the California economy in the decades to come.