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Agriculture Sees Modest Gains, Driven By Avocados

A worker at Walter Andersen Nursery waters flowers, a major part of San Diego...

Photo by Nicholas McVicker / KPBS

Above: A worker at Walter Andersen Nursery waters flowers, a major part of San Diego Agriculture.

Audio

San Diego County Department of Agriculture, released the 2011 crops annual report today.

While workers at Walter Andersen Nursery watered flowerbeds, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts revealed the news.

"The value of agriculture grew a modest 2 percent in 2011,” he said.

That growth totaled $1.68 billion. Even so, the total acreage of commercial agriculture dropped almost 1 percent. The rise in crop values was driven by fruit and nuts, primarily avocados, which saw an increase of 24 percent year to year.

“A lot of that is because the consumer is more knowledgeable about how healthy the avocado is," said San Diego County Farm Bureau President Noel Stehly. "It used to be it was a fatty, bad fat. Now it's considered a heart food, it’s a much more popular item because of that.”

The report also came with a warning. A small insect, the Asian Citrus Psyllid, can spread the disease Huanlongbing that kills citrus trees.

The full report can be seen here.

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