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US (CA): Strawberries up, raspberries & avocados down in Ventura County

Although the total value of the agriculture products of Ventura County fell slightly in 2016, the top four crops -who saw a 4.2% drop- namely strawberries, lemons, nursery stock and celery, all made some gains over the previous year.

The Ventura County Agricultural Commissionerís 2016 Crop and Livestock Report, released the second week of January, provides a comprehensive look at how specific agricultural sectors change in the county from year to year.

Raspberries and avocados, in the fifth and sixth spots, saw significant drops. Raspberries dropped two slots from 2015, because of a reduction in acreage, and avocados saw a 30% drop in value as early-season fruit competed with an abundant supply of imports, as well as drought and heat affecting the California crop.

Overall, the countyís fruit and nut crops led the way, at $1.28 billion ($1.36 billion in 2015), followed by vegetable crops at $556.68 million ($583.28 million in 2015).

The top-10 leading crops in 2016, (and 2015 value), were:

Strawberries, $654.90 million ($617.83 million);
Lemons, $266.98 million ($259.54 million);
Nursery stock, $206.84 million ($195.82 million);
Celery, $202.36 million ($194.76 million);
Raspberries, $171.16 million ($228.22 million);
Avocados, $129 million ($188.82 million);
Peppers (bell and chili), $61.08 million ($54.16 million);
Cut flowers, $48.04 million ($48.52 million);
Tomatoes, $47.99 million ($50.47 million); and
Kale, $29.5 million ($38.09 million)

If different lettuce varieties were a single category instead of three categories ó head ($807,000), leaf ($21.07 million) and romaine ($8.13 million) ó they would have made the top-10 list.

According to an article, Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales wrote about the demand for agro labour, which has been increasing since Sept. 11, 2001, because of tightening border security, along with increased deportations.

Publication date: 1/29/2018



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