What is in this article?:
- Imperial County reports record Ag value of $2.15 billion
- That's nuts! Stanislaus County's top crop is no longer milk
Ventura County avocado growers have a good year
A farmworker processes cilantro on an Imperial County farming operation.
Record-high agricultural values in some California counties are doing their best to mask the concerns farmers have over water.
Three more of California’s 10-leading Ag-producing counties joined the chorus of most of the other top-10 counties in revealing record-high agricultural values for 2013. San Joaquin County has yet to release its report.
In most cases, higher commodity prices in a number of crops are credited with bolstering Ag values. Of the 10 counties that account for 85 percent of California’s total agricultural value, only Fresno (typically the leading Ag county in the United States) was down in 2013. Drought and a lack of irrigation water from state and federal sources were blamed for Fresno’s downturn.
Improved demand for winter vegetables in the Midwest and Northeast combined with high-value vegetable plantings pushed the gross value of crops produced in Imperial County, Calif. 11 percent higher to a record $2.15 billion in 2013.
The boost in value came amidst a 6 percent decline in total harvested acres – down 35,444 from the previous year, according to Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner Connie Valenzuela. The record value was due in large part to increased per-acre yields and favorable market prices.
Valenzuela said a number of high-value vegetable crops were harvested from 8,094 acres in 2013, helping to boost the miscellaneous vegetable category nearly 150 percent to just under $131 million.
According to the county crop report, those miscellaneous vegetables may include: artichoke, arugula, asparagus, Asian greens, basil, beans, beets, Bok Choy, Brussel sprout, celery chive, cilantro, collard, cucumber, dill, endive, fennel, garbanzo beans, kale, leek, mint, Napa cabbage, okra, oregano, parsley, peas, pepper, radish, rapini, rosemary, rutabaga, sage, squash, Swiss chard, tarragon, thyme, tomato and turnip.