Friday, June 08, 2007

County Gets Good Return On Its Crops

County Gets Good Return On Its Crops
By Reporter Staff

Despite what county officials termed a "triple whammy" of floods, late spring rains and record summer heat, agriculture in Solano County managed to show gains in the number of million-dollar crops in 2006.

The Solano County Annual Crop and Livestock Report, announced Thursday, showed the extended rainy season, flooding and heat led to an overall 2.2 percent drop in the county's ag production.

Total gross agricultural production of the 80-plus crops and commodities in 2006 was $233.5 million, a decrease of $5.2 million from the all-time record set in 2005. Total ag production in 2006 ranks as the county's second-highest and $22.3 million or 11 percent increase over 2004.

Sunflower seeds and bees for pollination joined the ranks of million- dollar crops, with $2.43 million and $1.03 million, respectively. Solano County now has 23 crops valued at more than $1 million each.

Nursery stock retained its No. 1 ranking in 2006 with a value of $47.9 million, followed by cattle and calves at $25.1 million and alfalfa at $23.3 million. Processing tomatoes, walnuts, milk, wine grapes, almonds, prunes, sheep and lambs rounded out the top 10 crops for 2006.

"While the weather wasn't cooperative and impacted crop production in 2006, the year should still be considered an overall success for agriculture," said Jerry Howard, Solano County Agricultural Commissioner in a press release issued Thursday. The Board of Supervisors will receive the report at its meeting Tuesday.

"The contribution agriculture makes to our community and our way of life in Solano County far exceeds a single year's crop value total," said Supervisor John Vasquez, in the county's press release. "I am very proud to come from a family of farmers, and our farmers and ranchers consistently make such an incredible impact on our economy."

This year's report "does not reflect the total contribution agriculture makes to the economy of Solano County," Howard said. "Transportation, processing, marketing and other farm-related services significantly multiply these values to the benefit of the local economy."

In addition to be a historic record of agriculture in the county, the crop report will be used as a resource for an Agriculture Futures Study being prepared for the Board of Supervisors by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

The Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the board chamber, 675 Texas St. Fairfield.

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