Central Valley, a lowland region in central California. It stretches 450 miles (720 km) from the Cascades in the north to the Tehachapi Mountains in the south. From the Coast Ranges in the west to the Sierra Nevada in the east, the valley's width varies from 30 to 60 miles (78 to 155 km). The Central Valley is made up of two smaller valleys, the Sacramento Valley in the north and the San Joaquin Valley in the south, which are separated by a delta region near where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet. Major cities in the valley include Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, and Fresno.
The Central Valley's rich soil and long growing season make it a major agricultural region. Crops grown here include cotton, wheat, nuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Livestock are also raised. Excess water in the northern part of the valley is diverted for irrigation to the dry south by the Central Valley Project, a series of dams, canals, and aqueducts.