According to the 2017 Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner’s Crop Report, the majority of agricultural land within the county is devoted to nursery stock. Field and seed crops, citrus, avocados, deciduous trees, truck crops, and specialty crops account for the remaining harvest. 2017's total gross agricultural value was $1,218,522,000 down $57.3 million (4.5%) from 2016's total value.
The impact of diminishing agricultural lands continues to be felt as most of the agricultural land is converted to residential and commercial uses, in part, as a result of the high cost of energy, water, and land. The farmland that remains is mostly small acreage estates and hobby farms, usually 5 acres or less. There is a trend in small organic farming within the district and interest is growing for more locally available produce products at farmer’s markets and restaurants.
The RCRCD supports local agriculture in a a variety of ways:
- Identifying local growers that are interested in supplying food for the local economy
- Connecting growers to consumers by developing and distributing a Fresh and Local Guide
- Developing programs for preserving local agriculture and high quality soils and farmlands
- Promoting the use of conservation easements and fee-title donations of land
- Providing information to farmers and growers about soils and best management practices (BMPs) that assist with maintaining soil quality and health
- Assisting landowners with erosion control, non-point source pollution, and assessing flood damage potential
- Conducting irrigation audits
- Developing an inventory of agricultural and urban ag lands and update important farmland mapping.
- Supporting new farmer training with partners such as Grow Riverside, Riverside Food System Alliance, and others.