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Madera County crop and livestock value is down 10 percent

The gross value of Madera County crops and livestock dropped about 10 percent in 2016 compared to the prior year, according to authorities this week. Declining almond prices were partly to blame.

Agricultural Commissioner Stevie McNeill presented the 2016 Crop and Livestock Report to Madera County supervisors at their regular meeting Tuesday.

“For 2016, the gross value of all production was $1,819,489,000; this is a decrease of $197,957,000 — 9.81 percent — compared to 2015 production,” McNeill said in her report. “This is mainly due to decrease in some commodity prices as market prices continued to stabilize.”

The county now ranks 10th in agricultural production among the state’s 58 counties, and 14th in the entire nation. Sixty-seven nations around the world imported Madera County crops, primarily nuts and fruits.

Almonds remained the county’s leading crop for the seventh year in a row, with a value of $593,487,000 — down 25 percent compared to 2015.

“Although there was an increase in bearing almond acreage, the price per ton dropped considerably,” McNeil said.

Milks unseated grapes for second place, pushing the fruit to third. Pistachios took fourth and cattle and calves held fifth.

Sixty-three organic farms and nine handlers registered in Madera County in 2016. The value of organic production in 2016 was $43,119,000.

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