The value of Placer County’s agricultural crops and products rose 4.4 percent during 2014, reaching its highest total in more than 20 years.
The 2014 Placer County Agricultural Crop Report was presented to the Board of Supervisors as an informational item. The report pegs the total gross value of last year’s agricultural crops and products at $86,464,000, up $3,839,000 or 4.4 percent from the 2013 total of $82,625,000.
The annual totals reflect the gross values of agricultural crops and products, not the net incomes producers receive.
Joshua P. Huntsinger, the county agricultural commissioner and sealer of weights and measures, noted that the county’s farmers and ranchers reduced water use by more than 30 percent last year because of the drought.
“Close coordination between the water agencies and the county’s farmers and ranchers resulted in significant water conservation and still allowed for record-setting crop production,” he said.
Last year’s gross total was the highest since the $88,349,100 recorded in 1992.
Placer County’s top five crops last year were:
- Rice, with a total value of almost $23.9 million, up 4.0 percent from 2013;
- Cattle and calves, $15.0 million, up 26.1 percent;
- Timber, $12.1 million; up 35.0 percent;
- Nursery stock, $7.3 million, down 17.4 percent; and
- Walnuts, $5.8 million, up 7.6 percent.
Total values were up for high-profile crops such as mandarin oranges and vegetables that often are sold at local farmers’ markets and other direct-marketing outlets.
The gross value of the 2014 mandarin orange crop was pegged at more than $1.8 million, up 4.9 percent from the preceding year.
The value of miscellaneous vegetable crops was up 16.7 percent to $1.75 million. Crops in that category include melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and fresh tomatoes.
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