published on June 28, 2016 - 10:46 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Kings County’s crop values fell by more than $400 million in 2015, hurt by low milk prices.

Tim Niswander, Kings County agricultural commissioner, told the county’s board of supervisors today that the gross value for all of the crops and products produced during 2015 in Kings County was $2.02 billion, a decrease of 18.2 percent from 2014’s record-breaking crop value of $2.45 billion.

While milk continued to be the county’s top commodity, with a value of $651 million in 2015, lower milk prices paid to the county’s dairymen took a toll on the crop’s overall value, Niswander said.

Cattle and calves ($226 million), cotton ($177 million), almonds ($173 million) and tomatoes ($132 million) rounded out the county’s top five ag commodities followed by pistachios ($86 million), corn and silage ($58 million), alfalfa ($57 million), walnuts ($55 milion) and grapes ($43 million).

Livestock and poultry posted the largest increase in value, up 23 percent from 2014, due primarily to increases in beef prices.

Apiary products, which increased 43 percent to $893,000, was the only other category to see a boost in value in 2015, due primarily to higher pollination prices.

Meanwhile, livestock and poultry products showed the steepest decline, dropping in value 32 percent from the previous year because of lower milk prices.

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