Here's an article that appeared on November 4 in the Ventura County Star.
It's good to see healthy crop production in Ventura County despite the
drought. Limoneira uses Agromin mulch around its orchards to improve
water efficiency, keep weeds down, prevent erosion and maintain moderate
|ROB VARELA/THE STAR Socorro Vasquez sorts lemons Tuesday at Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula. |
By Kathleen Wilson
VENTURA, Calif. - Strawberries ranked as the top crop in Ventura
County last year, but lemons surged to second place and kale joined the
list for the first time, a report released Tuesday says.
Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales said the estimated 2014 gross
value of agricultural products totaled $2.14 billion, up 2 percent from
2013 despite the difficulties imposed by a sustained drought.
"This is the second year in a row we have surpassed the $2 billion mark," Gonzales told the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.
credited the healthy results amid drought to relatively abundant local
groundwater supplies and a bounty of crops. The report stated that more
than 50 crops generated more than $1 million in gross receipts apiece.
"That protects us," Gonzales said.
Strawberries ranked far ahead of any other crop, with a reported
value of almost $628 million. That was up by 3 percent from 2013 despite
a decrease in harvested acreage, but off the $691 million
Values for lemon production soared to a record of almost $270 million, up 43 percent over 2013.
growth was driven mainly by rising prices, said Alex Teague, senior
vice president of the Limoneira Co., a Santa Paula lemon producer that
has achieved record profits.
Teague tied the increase in lemon
prices to rising consumption. The industry has successfully marketed
lemons not just for food, but also for skin care and cleaning products,
Although strawberries are still king in total
estimated value, the amount of acreage declined by about 2,000 to 11,630
acres, the report stated.
Strawberry growers are facing low
prices, increased competition from Mexico, drought and a heat-driven
increase in pests, officials said.
Kale edged its way into the Top 10 list with an estimated gross value of almost $36 million.
has skyrocketed over the past few years, said Garrett Nishimori,
marketing manager and corporate chef for San Miguel Produce, a major
grower of kale in the county. "People want to try and eat healthier," he said.
said the versatile vegetable is being served in trendy restaurants and
making its way into salads, smoothies and kale chips.
Nishimori said he eats about a bag a week.
"I throw it in everything," he said.
Labels: 2014, Ventura County crop production