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Calaveras County Agriculture Values Up

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The value of agriculture crops harvested last year in Calaveras County increased 16.5 percent over 2001, with all of the growth coming from logging, according to the annual report by Agriculture Commissioner Jearl Howard.

The total value of all agricultural products produced in the county was $30,816,100 for 2002, an increase of $4,362,200 over 2001.

About 48.5 million board feet of timber was harvested in 2002, valued at $13.1 million, up $4,980,000 from 2001. Loggers harvested 48.5 million board feet of lumber, up from 35 million board feet in 2002. In addition, the value of the harvested lumber increased from $232 to $270 per thousand board feet from 2001 to 2002, according to Howard´s report.

A majority of the logging in the county is carried out by Sierra Pacific Industries, based in Redding.

Howard said cattle and calves are still the county´s No. 1 farm commodity. Poultry took over the number two spot and wine grapes fell to third place.

With 1,460 acres in cultivation, fruit and nut crops produced $2,443,500 last year, up by $117,500 over 2001. These crops include walnuts (in shell), apples, wine grapes and olives. Field crops generated $4,965,800, down by $2,700 from 2001. Field crops comprise 400,000 acres and include grain hay, legume hay, native hay, irrigated pasture and rangeland.

Vegetable crops including tomatoes, corn, peppers, melons and asparagus produced $170,000, the same as 2001. Nursery crops produced $545,000, up $2,000 over 2001.

Livestock and poultry operations produced $8,427,800, down $924,900 from 2001. These include cattle, sheep, goats, swine and more. Livestock and poultry produce – including wool, mohair, eggs and other products – generated $907,000, up $207,000 from 2001. Apiary production totaled $257,000, down $16,700 from 2001. These products include honey, beeswax and pollination services.

Vanessa Turner, Calaveras Enterprise

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