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San Diego Farmers Hit Record Sales In 2011 Amid Many Challenges

Aired 12/26/11 on KPBS News.

Despite rising water costs and other obstacles, growers have a prosperous 2011.

SAN DIEGO- Agriculture is a $1.6-billion industry in San Diego County.
County growers had a prosperous year despite challenges, including pests, a shortage of labor and rising water costs, according to Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau.

He said the biggest challenge for farmers is affordable water.

"If it's a wet year, the price of water goes up. If it's a dry year the price of water goes up. In either case the agencies have less water to sell. If it's a dry year they just don't have enough to put through the system, if it's a wet year people aren't buying," he said.

Despite these challenges, he said one of the county's main crops, avocados, hit a record high in 2011.

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