A new report shows things were looking up for the ag industry in 2013 compared to 2012.
The Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner released the latest crop report Tuesday and shows an increase of over $33 million in 2013.
The total gross production value of Santa Cruz County agricultural commodities for 2013 was $599,268,000. The 2012 production value of $566,214,000. Most crops commanded higher prices.
The highest valued crop in Santa Cruz County remains strawberries; raspberries is the second highest valued crop. Nursery crops, vegetables, and blackberries are also among the million-dollar crops.
The Ag Commissioner's report credits success to exceptionally fertile soil, a climate that allows for year around production of some crops, and consumer demand for high value, quality crops.
Last year also saw steady growth in the gross production value of organically grown crops.
The report provides estimated acreage, yield, and gross value of agricultural products in the county. Yields and gross production values are influenced by many factors including weather, labor, market demand, and accessibility.
The gross values do not represent profit to growers because they do not include production costs, such as expenditures associated with insect pests and disease, labor, fuel, feed, fertilizer, land, and regulatory requirements.
A study released in June of 2012 calculated the economic benefits of agriculture to the local economy by applying multiplier effects to the 2011 crop production values. Based on those multipliers, the total economic contribution of the county’s agricultural industry to our economy for 2013 is over $1.5 billion.
The 2013 crop report is available on the Agricultural Commissioner webpage: