The latest Crop Report highlights a rise in crop and commodity values, signaling a recovery from the pandemic-induced setbacks.
San Diego County’s 2022 Crop Report has unveiled promising news for the region’s agricultural sector. With a total crop and commodity value of $1.78 billion, the county has witnessed a 1.4% increase compared to the previous year. This marks the seventh year in the past decade that San Diego has experienced growth in agricultural production. The report not only showcases the resilience of the local farming community but also sheds light on the specific crops that have contributed to this upward trend.
Fruit & Nut Crops Thrive, Driven by Favorable Weather
Fruit and nut crops emerged as one of the standout performers in the 2022 growing season. The value of these crops increased by an impressive 29%, reaching $306 million, up from $237 million in 2021. The surge in production can be attributed to favorable weather conditions that supported optimal growth and yield.
Avocado Industry Soars to New Heights
San Diego County’s most renowned crop, avocados, experienced a remarkable surge in value. The crop saw a staggering 48% increase, with its value rising from approximately $82.8 million in 2021 to $123 million in 2022. The boost in avocado production can be attributed to improved weather conditions, which allowed for a more abundant harvest.
Bedding Plants and Perennials Remain County’s Top Crop
While avocados stole the spotlight in terms of value increase, bedding plants, color and perennials retained their position as the top crop in San Diego County. This category brought in a total of $445,359,543, accounting for 25% of the county’s total agricultural production value. Despite facing challenges such as rising water costs and pests, the bedding plant industry continues to thrive.
Ornamental Trees & Shrubs Maintain Strong Presence
Ornamental trees and shrubs, though experiencing a slight decrease in value from $382 million in 2021 to $375 million in 2022, still claimed the second spot on the list of top crops in San Diego. The industry remains a vital contributor to the county’s agricultural landscape.
Challenges and Resilience in the Face of Adversity
The Crop Report acknowledges the challenges faced by San Diego’s agricultural sector, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inclement weather, wildfires, freezes, and rising water costs. Despite these obstacles, the industry has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability.
Commitment to Pesticide Safety
The report highlights the County’s commitment to ensuring the safe usage of pesticides across all communities. Approximately $5 million from the County’s Department of Agriculture, Weights, and Measures’ annual budget has been allocated to pesticide inspections. The compliance rate for pesticide inspections conducted in 2022 stands at an impressive 90%.
San Diego County’s 2022 Crop Report paints a positive picture of the region’s agricultural sector, with an overall increase in crop and commodity values. Fruit and nut crops, avocados, and bedding plants continue to be key contributors to the county’s agricultural success. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and other factors, San Diego’s farmers have demonstrated resilience and adaptability. As the county moves forward, it remains committed to ensuring the safety and sustainability of its agricultural practices.