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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Quick fix: A plumbing problem is forcing the Plumas Unified School District to move its headquarters to the former probation building.
  • Lesser charges: A former Chester Public Utility District general manager pleaded guilty to reduced charges last month in connection with unauthorized use of a district credit card at a Reno strip club.

Ag shows increase over prior year, but down from a decade ago

  Plumas County experienced 23.6 percent growth in agriculture production value in 2011, with livestock and field crops showing impressive gains of 18 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Timber revenues rose 14 percent.

  The county’s former agricultural commissioner, Keith Mahan, provided the annual data.

  The gains were more impressive than those posted for 2010, when agricultural production value grew by just 1 percent over 2009.

  The gains were the result of increased income for the commodities, not the result of more acreage planted or heads of livestock raised. Those numbers have held steady for the past two years.

  According to Mahan, the county’s estimated agricultural value for 2011 was $24,746,117 (excluding timber) and its livestock value came in at $14,905,117.

  In both 2010 and 2011, Plumas County contained the following: alfalfa hay, 6,000 acres; meadow hay, 3,000 acres; grain hay, 1,000 acres; irrigated pasture, 35,000 acres; non-irrigated pasture, 52,000 acres; and range pasture, 65,000 acres.

  Livestock numbers differed just slightly. In 2010 there were 8,200 head of steers and 7,000 head of heifers. In 2011, the numbers were 8,250 and 6,750, respectively.

  Timber production also increased in 2011. Mahan said “timber revenues rose for the second consecutive year with a 14 percent increase.”

  Timber revenues were estimated at $11,510,226 in 2011, up from just more than $10 million in 2010. But both numbers are far less impressive than they were just a decade ago.

  In 2000, timber harvest revenues were estimated at $49,224,004 and in 1999 that number was $52,587,704.

Sierra County

  Neighboring Sierra County also saw increased production, posting a 32 percent increase in agricultural value with revenues estimated at $8,184,555. Total livestock value was estimated at $4,949,192.

  As with Plumas County, field crop numbers were unchanged in Sierra County in 2010 and 2011. Sierra County contains the following: alfalfa hay, 1,290 acres; meadow hay, 1,620 acres; grain hay, 640 acres; irrigated pasture, 11,450 acres; non-irrigated pasture, 20,000 acres; and range pasture, 24,000 acres.

  Livestock numbers differed just slightly. In 2010 there were 2,560 head of steers and 2,040 head of heifers. In 2011, the numbers were 2,600 and 2,030, respectively.

  Timber revenues were estimated at $3,840,151 in 2011, up from $2,180,300 in 2010. As with Plumas both numbers are far less impressive than they were just a decade ago.

  In 2000, Sierra County timber harvest revenues were estimated at $12,359,580 and in 1999 that number was $10,712,573.

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