Sonora, CA– Agricultural commodities produced in Tuolumne County were down last year. That’s according to the latest annual crop and livestock report released by Agricultural Commissioner Vicki Helmar. The 2009 value is estimated at $20,215,400, a 24.6 % decrease from the 2008 value of 26,831,100.
Not only was Tuolumne County’s agricultural industry severely impacted by the continued economic decline and depressed housing markets, but ranchers and farmers also had to contend with continued drought conditions and the freeze of late April 2009. These factors affected nearly every segment of agricultural production. Major impacts included, the continued drought that reduced production for the third consecutive year, the depressed housing market that decreased demand for landscaping plants, and the timber industry that was hit especially hard in 2009.
Ag Commissioner Vicki Helmar said, "So far this year we have not had the hard freeze that we had the past two Aprils, our rangeland production has been very good this past spring, I’m hearing that cattle prices are up, so I’m a little bit more optimistic that we will have a better year for 2010. However, the economy still has an impact on our agricultural products."