EL CENTRO – Imperial County Agriculture Commissioner Carlos Ortiz recently released the Imperial County Agricultural Crops and Raising Report which ranks Imperial County in the top 10 of California’s 58 counties as a top agricultural producer in 2019. .
âBeing ranked ninth shows us the importance of agriculture’s contribution to the community,â Ortiz said in a telephone interview. âAgriculture is important because it produces a lot of jobs. ”
Even with a reduction in agricultural area, the value of agricultural products increased to reach $ 2 billion in 2020.
The top 10 products in 2020 were cattle, alfalfa hay, leaf lettuce, sweet corn, Bermuda grass, romaine lettuce, carrots, sugar beets, head lettuce and broccoli.
The report, published in magazine form and available on the county’s website, was themed “Cultural Pioneers” to reflect the people who came to Imperial Valley.
It showed historic sepia-toned photos that showed the pioneers, local and foreign immigrants, who overcame the harsh and harsh conditions to survive.
âThese immigrants from different cultures helped each other. They learned from each other based on their unique experience of farming in their own home country, âsaid Ortiz, who expressed his gratitude to the Pioneers Park Museum for their help. The Pioneers Park Museum features stands showcasing immigrants and artefacts from countries such as Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Palestine, Philippines, and Switzerland.
The Desert Review enlisted the help of the Imperial County Farm Bureau in reaching local farmers. As a result, farmers were surveyed in four regions of Imperial County’s top 10 agricultural commodities.
Blake Plourd and his father, Jeff Plourd, of El Toro Land & Cattle, spoke about the beef industry at Heber Feedlot. They provided insight into how cattle are raised and the role of the industry in the annual Brawley Cattle Calling Parade and Rodeo.
Pat Dockstader, P&T Enterprises in Calipatria, presented the hay industry. He arranged a visit and interview in his office, a front-line view of field workers collecting hay bales in a field north of Calipatria and baling the hay for export to Japan.
Larry Cox of Lawrence Cox Ranches in Brawley, spoke about lettuce out of season at press time. Lettuce is planted and cultivated in mid-September. He showed how tiny seeds of romaine lettuce were coated in round pellets to allow seeds to be planted by efficient machines in the field. Cox Ranch grows different kinds of lettuce.
Ryan Mamer, of Five Crowns Marketing, gave a tour of the newly planted sweet corn seeds in a field north of Brawley. Workers were busy in the field planting seeds and laying irrigation pipes in another field to moisten the soil. The sweet corn will be marketed as fresh shelled corn in packets for retail grocery stores.