1. Milk: $462.3 million in gross income in 2009, down from $689.3 million the year before. Average prices paid to farmers dropped by about a third, to $1 a gallon for the main category of milk, far less than the cost of keeping the cows. Prices dropped with a decline in export demand as the recession took hold worldwide.
2. Almonds: $455.6 million, up from $424.2 million. The average price rose from $1.52 to $1.70 a pound, and acreage increased.
3. Chickens: $282.4 million, up from $229.9 million. Volume and prices were little changed for chickens sold for meat, which accounted for two-thirds of last year's gross. A big gain came from the increased prices of chicks sold to poultry and egg producers.
4. Cattle and calves: $131.1 million, down from $141 million. The market was dragged down by decreased sales of replacement milking cows to struggling dairy farms. Income rose from animals sold for meat, some of them from cattle ranches and others from dairy farms.
5. Tomatoes: $122 million, up from $59.8 million. Volume and prices rose substantially for processing tomatoes, which go to canneries, and the much smaller fresh-market crop.
6. Walnuts: $114.2 million, up from $106.6 million. Tonnage and prices increased slightly.
7. Silage: $75.4 million, down from $128.3 million. Prices plunged for this dairy cattle feed, made by fermenting corn or other crops.
8. Peaches: $66.7 million, up from $64.9 million. Tonnage and prices were up a bit for the cling peach crop, which goes to canneries. The much smaller fresh crop had reduced volume but higher prices.
9. Deciduous nursery: $58.1 million, down from $68.9 million. These businesses, which provide trees and vines to fruit and nut growers, sold fewer units. Prices were flat.
10. Turkeys: $43.2 million, down from $53.7 million. The number of birds sold for meat dropped, as did prices. The number of newly hatched turkeys sold to poultry producers also dropped.