Monterey County Ag is Big
June 5, 2013
Posts Record 2012 Crop Value
According to Eric Lauritzen, Monterey Ag Commissioner, Monterey County’s crop value for 2012 was a record $4.14 billion which is an increase of 7% or $285,000,000.
Some noteworthy changes in 2012 include: head and leaf lettuce values were up slightly; strawberry value increased by 10% and wine grape value was up 52%, after two years of declining production. Spinach value increased 47% to move into the top ten for the first time.
The value of nursery products increased by 18% overall, with a continuing decrease in cut flowers and increases in vegetable transplants, orchids and potted plants. Beef cattle declined 3% under drought conditions.
This year’s crop report features efforts by our agricultural industry and other partners to improve the health of Monterey County children and increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in schools. Beyond the immediate health benefits, having these choices early in life can affect life-long eating habits. Many schools are aware of the benefits, but lack the equipment and support to offer healthier eating choices to students. This powerful collaborative effort is gaining momentum and deserves our recognition and support.
It is always important to note that the figures are gross values and do not represent or reflect net profit or loss experienced by individual growers, or by the industry as a whole. Growers do not have control over most input costs, such as fuel, fertilizers and packaging, nor can they significantly affect market prices. The fact that the gross value of agriculture is holding steady reflects positively on the diversity and importance of our agriculture industry.
The report is our yearly opportunity to recognize the growers, shippers, ranchers, and other businesses ancillary to and supportive of agriculture, which is the largest driver of Monterey County’s economy. As such, we would like to extend our thanks to the industry for its continued effort to provide vital information that enables the compilation of the Monterey County Crop Report. While we continually strive to improve upon this information, without the industry’s assistance, this report would not be possible.
Lauritzen noted that special recognition for the production of the report goes to Richard Ordonez, Shayla Neufeld, and all of the staff who assisted in compiling this information and improving the quality of the report.