Crop report: COVID causes agriculture struggles | Local News | – San Mateo Daily Journal


Between COVID-19, historic wildfires and ongoing dtought circumstances, San Mateo County’s agriculture enterprise was hit exhausting in 2020, ensuing Inside The scarcity of Greater than 1 / 4 of income however native ag officers are hopeful circumstances will stabilize As a Outcome of the area recuperates from the pandemic and markets regular. 

Koren Widdel

“2020 was a tough yr on most industries and agriculture was no exception,” Agricultural Commissioner Koren Widdel informed the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors all by way of its meeting Tuesday. 

San Mateo County is house to An monumental agriculture enterprise producing indoor and outdoors floral crops, an array of fruit, greens and nuts, and numerous livestock. Wanting On the enterprise as A complete, it launched In further than $93 million in gross income in 2020, a decrease of 28.5% As in contrast with 2019, Based mostly on the 2020 Agricultural Crop Report. 

Floral and nursery crops felt The Most very important hit with a manufacturing worth decrease of $32 million. Included On this group are potted fdecreases and foliage, reduce fdecreases, shrubs, timber and completely different bedding crops. 

Hashish progress, whereas authorized within California, was not included Inside the crop report As a Outcome of of its ilauthorized federal standing. Hemp However, is federally authorized and grown throughout the state, Widdel said, noting the crop was included with completely different indoor grown floral and nursery crops.

Vegetable manufacturing worth furtherly noticed A strong decrease although not as significantly as floral and nursery crops. The group, collectively with artichokes, Brussels sprouts, beans, peas, leeks and pumpkins decreased in worth by $4.4 million, Based mostly on the crop report. 

Together, vegetable and floral and nursery crops make-up 86% of the county’s manufacturing worth. 

While crops took A critical hit, the county’s livestock enterprise expert some progress as pursuits in house coming and extreme quality pasture-raised livestock and eggs grew. In 2020, the livestock enterprise launched in almost $5.6 million, surpassing the toughly $3 million earned in 2019. 

Other sectors acquired here out solely barely forward collectively with livestock merchandise Similar to honey, cheese, eggs and wool, enterprise fish catch, fruit and nut crops and area crops, Based mostly on the crop report. 

“That is typically a shiny spot On this yr’s crop report,” Widdel said.

Group Supported Agriculture subscriptions And accredited Farmers’ Markets have been key in maintaining the native ag enterprise alive, Widdel said. She furtherly pointed to the county’s As Current As a Outcome of it Will get advertising campaign which related residents On to farmers and fisherman, as ancompletely different lifeline. 

Regardless of some successes, the livestock enterprise nonetheless faces some hurdles. Slaughterhouses have started To close throughout the state, partly Due to pandemic, forcing ranchers to journey farther out for providers if Considering about promoting livestock On to consumers and driving up prices, Widdel said. 

Ranchers have shared ideas for options collectively with a mobile slaughter unit however Widdel said further planning and coordination Can be Important to convey The althought to life. Farmers Can furtherly proceed to grapple with The proceedd dtought and prolonged wildfire seasons Which have grown in severity. 

Still, Widdel shared optimism thOn The numerous agricultural sectors in San Mateo County would recuperate as greater market certainty surfaces. 

“There was A lot of uncertainty On the market final yr and it added to factors that have been pre-current as properly,” Widdel said. “But I really feel that we’ll see a stabilization of the ag enterprise.” 


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