The County of Ventura’s Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures presented the 2021 Crop and Livestock Report to the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting. Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer Ed Williams reported the value of crops for the county for 2021 was $2,085,999,000, an increase of 5% from 2020. Strawberries, lemons, and nursery stock remained the highest valued crops, followed by raspberries, avocados, and celery. For the second consecutive year, the report has been published in Spanish.
“It is good to see the gross values for Ventura County’s crops rising again compared to the bit of a slump in 2020 due to the pandemic,” said Williams. “Production costs have increased, and growers must receive a good return on their investments for farming to continue. The impact of farming and ranching goes far beyond the farm gate by providing jobs for processors, marketers, transporters, farm supply companies, and restaurants, to name a few, and especially the tens of thousands of farmworkers who provide the skill and foundation to make it all possible. I deeply appreciate the many people who play a key role in keeping Ventura County’s agriculture thriving.”
Seafood, including fish and squid, was included in the report for the first time, with a value of over $31 million. The Organic Farming Program saw an increase of 27% from prior years, with 217 registered growers in 2021. Almost 12% of the total crop in 2021 was produced organically. Vegetable crops struggled in 2021. Of note, the tomato crop dropped out of the top ten for the first time in 22 years.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our community and drives not only our local economy but also contributes to feeding the world,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Carmen Ramirez. “We are proud of the irreplaceable contributions of the entire agricultural community in helping provide food and products for us all, especially our growers, providers, farmworkers, suppliers, the Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures, among many other partners.”
The theme of this year’s report is “Touring Ventura County’s Agriculture.” It celebrates the unique relationships between agriculture and the ten incorporated cities of Ventura County, all of which have roots in some form of farming or ranching.
“I am thankful for the hard work of our department’s staff for their key role in protecting and promoting agriculture in our area and especially for the effort in producing this year’s report,” added Williams.
Since 1895, under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the Department has worked in cooperation with the California Departments of Food and Agriculture and Pesticide Regulation, agricultural community partners, residents, and others to protect and promote Ventura County’s agriculture in the areas of pesticide use enforcement, permitting, quality control, certification of exports, among others.
View the 2021 Crop and Livestock Report in English and Spanish at https://www.ventura.org/agricultural-commissioner/crop-reports/. For more information about the Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures, visit https://www.ventura.org/agricultural-commissioner/.