San Diego region's agricultural product last year was $1.75 bill - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego region's agricultural product last year was $1.75 billion

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The value of the San Diego region's agricultural product last year was $1.75 billion, a 2.6 percent increase over 2015, according to a crop report released Monday.

The uptick follows two years of declines.

According to the report, the most valuable crop in 2016 was ornamental trees and shrubs, at $436.8 million. Indoor flowering and foliage plants were next at $362.9 million, followed by bedding plants, color and herbaceous perennials at $239 million.

Avocados, long linked to San Diego County, were fourth at $136.2 million. The total represents an increase in value even though county officials said the number of acres planted with the trees was the lowest in five years.

Cactuses and succulents continued a recent jump in value, from roughly $43 million in 2014 to nearly $83 million.

The report is an annual snapshot of an industry that has long been an important staple of the regional economy, but one that has faced challenges like the state's multi-year drought and resulting increases in water costs, plus fires, freezes, pests and diseases.

Despite the challenges, total agriculture production values have increased in six of the last 10 years. From 2006 to 2016, the total value has rise 19.4 percent, from $1.46 billion to $1.75 billion.

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