Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner Releases 2017 Crop and Livestock Report
Today, at the Board of Supervisors meeting, the Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner's Office released the 2017 Crop and Livestock Report in accordance with requirements of Section 2279 of the California Food and Agricultural Code. The report summarizes the estimated acreage, yield, and gross production value of Imperial County's agricultural production for the 2017 calendar year.
As reported, the gross production for 2017 was valued at $2,065,600,000. This represents an increase of $2,386,000 (0.12%) compared to the 2016 gross value of $2,063,214,000. In 2016, Imperial County ranked #9 out of 58 California counties in gross value of agricultural production.
With well over 300,000 head, cattle remained the number one producing crop in Imperial County. Rounding out the Top Ten are leaf lettuce, alfalfa, head lettuce, broccoli, spinach, onion, alfalfa seed, carrots and sugar beets. Imperial County remains the only producer of sugar beets in California.
Carlos Ortiz, Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner reported the main reason for the difference is attributed to an increase in some winter vegetable prices. "Due to a rise in temperature, affecting yields and creating a gap in the supply chain, winter vegetables saw an increase in market prices," stated Mr. Ortiz. There was a 7.9% increase in leaf lettuce acreage resulting in a 31.47% increase in market price. Although head lettuce saw a 5.08% decrease in harvested acres, there was a 10.54% increase in market price due to an increase in demand and short supply.
There was an overall 8.11% increase in harvested acres of fruit and nut crops and a 6.35% increase in gross value. Date crops showed an increase in acreage; however, a 13% decrease in market prices. Mr. Ortiz reported the decrease may be attributed to a competitive global market, particularly in the middle east.
Organic commodities saw a significant increase in acreage with 55 growers farming 45,216 acres; this represents an increase from the 33,505 acres farmed in 2016. Organic farming has been on a steady increase since 2013.
Mr. Ortiz reminds the public that the values presented in the report represent the gross value for products and do not reflect the cost of production, marketing, storage, or transportation. No attempt was made to report information on net income, profit or loss to producers.
A copy of the 2017 Crop and Livestock Report and previous reports may be viewed online at http://www.co.imperial.ca.us/ag. Hard copies of the report will be available in the near future at the Agricultural Commissioner's Office.