EL CENTRO — Every year, the Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner is required to produce a crop report that breaks down the estimated acreage, yield, and gross value of Imperial County’s agricultural production. Imperial County Ag Commissioner Carlos Ortiz presented the 2018 Crop Report to county supervisors, Tuesday, October 1.
After presenting to the supervisors, Ortiz made the information available on the Ag Commissioner’s website.
The top 10 commodities for 2018 were cattle, leaf lettuce, alfalfa, head lettuce, broccoli, spinach, onions, alfalfa seeds, carrots, and Bermuda grass. According to Ortiz, 2017’s #10 commodity was sugar beets, but this year was replaced with Bermuda grass.
According to the crop report, cattle ranked as the number one commodity with a gross value of $469,832,000, a 21.35% increase from the previous year. Ortiz said cattle has ranked as the top commodity for the last 10 years.
The report stated, “Gross production for 2018 was valued at $2,226,031,000. This is an increase of 7.77%. The increase was mainly due to an increase in some field crop prices as well as livestock prices. Alfalfa and Bermuda hay had higher prices. The increase in number and price for cattle also contributed to the increase.”
In 2017, Imperial County ranked #10 of all California counties with a gross value of agricultural production at $2,065,600,000. According to the 2017-2018 review of the 2017 Ag Statistics by CDFA, Imperial County was the sole producer of sugar beets; number one producer of alfalfa hay, alfalfa seed, Sudan hay, sweet corn, and wheat; and among the top five producers of artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, cattle and calves, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, dates, grapefruit, honeydew melons, lettuce, onions, potatoes, salad greens, sheep and lambs, spinach, vegetable seeds, and watermelons.
California exports produce to several states, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Washington, and Indiana. California also exports to the European Union, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and several others.
The crop report stated, “California leads the country as the largest agricultural producer and exporter. California exported approximately 28% of its agricultural production by volume. This translates to $20.56 billion in value. California is the sole exporter of many agricultural commodities supplying 99% or more of the following: almonds, figs, pistachios, artichokes, garlic, raisins, dates, kiwifruit, table grapes, dried plums, olives and olive oil, and walnuts.”
“Thank you to all the growers, processors, industry groups, and agencies who provided the information and statistics for this report," said Ortiz. "Your help in this effort is truly appreciated. In addition, I would like to express my appreciation to all of the members of my staff for their continued hard work and dedication and particularly to Sandra Mendivil, special projects coordinator, and Cynthia Paz, agricultural biologist III, for their work in compiling this annual report.”
The 2018 Imperial County Crop Report can be found at the address below: