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2012. Not a great year for agriculture

(Good news off-set by bad news)…The County Commissioner has released the latest Ag Report.

According to the report, the total gross value of agriculture products in 2012 came in at $1.9 billion. That is one percent down from the previous year, but leaving Agriculture as the leading Imperial County industry once again. The report indicates a 20 percent increase in livestock production and a 27 percent increase in cattle feeding. Those numbers, however, are deceiving, according to the livestock industry. Officials say increased costs more than offset the increases. They say, in reality, 2012 was a disastrous year for cattle. They say cattlemen lost a lot of money that year. The report indicates an increase for field crops in 2012. However, Vegetable and melons crops, seed and nursery crops, and apiary products all registered losses. The biggest drop was in leaf lettuce. They say the weather closed several produce markets in the Midwest and East Coast, and that greatly affected the local growers. The report indicates watermelon products also declined by 45 percent.