BRAWLEY — The Lawrence Cox Ranches north of Brawley develop a variety of agricultural commodities collectively with broccoli, onions, sugar beets, Brussel sprouts, and completely different Kinds of lettuce. September was The start of the season for rising lettuce.
The Imperial County Agricultural Crop & Livestock Report 2020 ranked leaf lettuce as third, which had a gross worth of $110,052,000. Romaine lettuce ranked sixth with a gross worth of $75,977,000. Head lettuce ranked ninth, $65,114,000.
“Our winter season is frost-free, and we might develop crops others Inside the nation Could not produce,” said Larry Cox, proprietor of the household-owned Lawrence Cox Ranches. “Our winter is reverse to The The rest of the nation, so We’re In a place to develop lettuce.”
Summertime in Imperial Valley is scorching And by no means conducive to rising most vegetable crops.
The rising season for lettuce starts In the midst of September and continues all by way of April. Past This period, it turns into too scorching for the crops. Romaine lettuce takes about 70-90 days To reap from seed planting. Iceberg lettuce, by no meanstheless, takes Barely bit longer.
Lawrence Cox Ranches proprietor, Larry Cox, reveals coated Romaine lettuce seeds at Lawrence Cox Ranches in Brawley.
The Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s office defines leaf lettuce as lettuce crops Which will embrace butter lettuce, inexperienced leaf lettuce, purple leaf lettuce, and unfastened-leaf lettuce. This Does not embrace Romaine or iceberg lettuce.
A lot of the lettuce is purchased to retail shops, meals providers, and terminal markets. A terminal market is the place consumers from small eating places buy their greens. Solely a small portion is purchased in Imperial Valley.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered monetary loss to Lawrence Cox Ranches. Consumers in schools, meals providers, and sports activities events halted orders and There have been no consumers, Based mostly on Cox.
There additionally have been no personnel To reap the crops. “We simply disced The sectors,” said Cox. Discing The sector includes mixing the crops with the soil to get it ready for The subsequent crop. This was extra economical than harvesting them.
And for about three months, truck drivers Weren’t needed. Staff decided both to retire or collect unemployment advantages. As a Outcome of the pandemic turns into extra beneath administration, truck drivers are as quickly as extra needed. However, There’s presently a scarcity, and the freight value has doubled.
“The pandemic was disruptive,” said Larry Cox.
The Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner, Carlos Ortiz, recently launched the Imperial County Agricultural Crop & Livestock Report that ranked Imperial County Inside The very biggest 10 of 58 counties in California of the main agricultural producers in 2019.
The prime 10 commodities in 2020 have been cattle, alfalfa hay, leaf lettuce, candy corn, Bermuda grass, Romaine lettuce, carrots, sugar beets, head lettuce, and broccoli.
The Desert Consider sought The assist of the Imperial County Farm Bureau in reaching native farmers. In consequence, farmers have been interviewed in 4 areas of The very biggest 10 agriculture commodities in Imperial County.
Blake Plourd and his father, Jeff Plourd, of El Toro Land & Cattle, talked Regarding the cattle enterprise On the feed yard in Heber. Pat Dockstader, P&T Enterprises in Calipatria, showcased the hay enterprise. Larry Cox of Lawrence Cox Ranches in Brawley, talked Regarding the lettuce Off-season at press time. Ryan Mamer, Of 5 Crowns Advertising, provided a tour of the newly planted candy corn seeds at a area north of Brawley.
All tales written by Joselito N. Villero
All pictures and video footage captupurple by Joselito N. Villero
Video modifying by Alexis Soto