Agriculture takes place on 62% of the land in Solano County, with irrigated agriculture comprising half of the county's agricultural lands. The remainder is devoted to the dryland farming in Montezuma Hills and grazing/pasture throughout the county. Leading crops in Solano County are nursery stock, cattle and calves, processing tomatoes, alfalfa hay, feeder lambs, wine grapes, milk, walnuts, dairy cows and irrigated wheat. Solano ranks as one of the top five counties in California for production of sheep & lambs, grain corn, sudan grass hay and safflower. Agricultural production and the related businesses continue to be a significant contributor to the county's economy, generating almost $1.3 billion each year in gross output value. Agriculture provides 4,187 jobs directly employed on ranches and farms plus 5,890 indirect jobs through the multiplier effect. Additional inputs into infrastructure, processing and handling of raw product and supporting industries can increase the overall output significantly.
The office of the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures is a regulatory agency performing under the jurisdiction and authority of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Working cooperatively with various federal, state and local agencies, Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures programs are regulatory-based and geared toward local enforcement and compliance with agricultural, environmental and marketplace laws and regulations. The goal is to provide protection of consumers, the agricultural industry, and the environment while encouraging the continuity of agricultural trade and commerce.
The Agricultural Commissioner is responsible for assisting with the management of pests (wildlife, insects, weeds, and plant pathogens) that impact agricultural and horticultural endeavors within the county.
- Wildlife protective services include technical assistance and removal of damaging wildlife.
- A comprehensive insect detection-trapping program assures the early capture and eradication of target pests (e.g. Mediterranean fruit fly, Japanese beetle, gypsy moth, glassy-winged sharpshooter and other key pests).
- Educational and field demonstration programs encourage the removal and control of pests by the most biologically sound methods including integrated pest management and biological control methods.
- Pest identification services are provided for all specimens brought to the office of the Agricultural Commissioner. Educational resources are also made available to assist with pest questions.
The Agricultural Commissioner assures compliance with regulatory requirements with respect to crop production and production of livestock and apiary products. The Agriculture Department regularly inspects farmers markets, produce stands, retail outlets, wholesale distribution centers, and packing houses to assure that produce, eggs, nursery products, seeds, and packaged commodities maintain the minimum standards for accurate labeling and quality.
- Standardization program - inspections of wholesale agricultural commodities (fruits, vegetables, and eggs) to maintain minimum quality standards
- Farmers Market - issue permits and certified producer certificates
- Organic Farmers - registration
- Seed certification inspections - performed at seed packaging facilities and during phytosanitary field inspections (sunflower seed, bean seed, vine crop seed)
- Nursery inspections - performed at all wholesale nurseries and at retail nurseries on a limited basis
- Apiary (honeybee inspections) - performed and pesticide application information is provided to beekeepers upon request
- Import/Export - inspection of incoming plant shipments and certification of new agricultural products for international export