This week saw the release of the 2014 Ventura County Crop Report. As always, it sheds some light on a part of our economy that many residents are not that familiar with. I hope people will grab their own PDF copy ( 2014 Ventura County Crop Report) , spend a little time with it, and even share the report and impressions with their friends and neighbors on Social Media.
Here are a few of my observations that I hope will put Ventura County agriculture in perspective for people. I’ve included some tweetable tags for those who would like to share… Acknowledgment appreciated, but not required if shared.
Ventura County is more productive than many states. 2014’s record of $2.14 Billion in crop sales would place our county ahead of nearly half the states in the US.
#VCCropReport : $2.14 Billion in Ventura County crop sales supports local economy
Strawberry dominance diminishing? While still the county’s #1 crop, strawberries saw a drop in acreage from 2013 to 2014…a trend that is continuing in 2015.
#VCCropReport : 2014 Strawberry acreage to 11630 from 13555
The #2 Spot highlights our crop diversity: In 2014, Lemons were the second highest value crop. For the preceding 5 years? Avocados, Lemons, Raspberries, Celery, and Nursery Stock.
#VCCropReport : #2 crop for last 6 yrs: Lemons, Avocados, Lemons, Raspberries, Celery, Nursery
#VCCropReport : More than 50 crops break the $1M barrier #CropMix
Highly productive farms: Take a few minutes to think about some of the per acre production figures in the charts. 18.7 tons of lemons. 26.2 tons of strawberries. 63.5 tons of cucumbers. 89.7 tons of tomatoes. Ventura County farmland is insanely productive.
#VCCropReport : Why we grow lemons here: 18.7 tons per acre not even a record. Life doesn’t give Lemons. We do.
Different crops: Ventura County grows a lot of different crops, but few of the ones that people most often think of. Only 444 acres of corn in the county, out of 90,000+ irrigated acres.
#VCCropReport : Only 1/2% of our farmland is growing corn. #NotInKansasAnymore
A lot of rangeland, not a lot of cows. Ventura County has more rangeland than irrigated farmland, but we don’t raise a lot of livestock. Our ranchers provide great stewardship for this land, and that is important to all of us. But they don’t get paid a lot for the service.
#VCCropReport : Total 2014 Livestock sales $7.9M. Cilantro $23.3M #NuffSaid
Anyone taking the time to dig will certainly find other facts of interest. Please share them! But a final note: Every year when the Crop report comes out, I run across someone grumbling about how much money farmers are making. If this might be you, please remember that the report only shows the sales… it doesn’t show expenses. Nearly every one of these dollars was spent, much of it locally…labor, supplies, water, utilities, professional services and property taxes. A farmer’s profit margins are lower than nearly every other business. Thanks for understanding.