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Nuts help set California farm revenue record for 2010

FRESNO — The growing popularity of pistachios helped California farms and ranches set a record for agricultural revenue last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday that the state's nearly 82,000 farms made more than $37 billion. That's up from $34 billion in 2009.

The USDA says dairy led the way, with revenue of almost $6 billion — an increase of 31 percent.

Table and wine grapes made a combined $3.2 billion to be the state's second most valuable.

All told, 11 California products topped $1 billion.

Pistachio revenue grew by 95 percent and topped $1 billion for the first time. Walnuts also edged over $1 billion, but almonds were the most valuable nut crop at $2.8 billion.

California accounts for about 12 percent of U.S. agricultural revenue for 2010.

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