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Ag production dropped in Plumas; but timber harvesting was up

When it comes to agriculture in Plumas County last year, three factors impacted overall production: drought, the Dixie Fire and COVID 19.

Agricultural Commissioner Willo Vieira presented the commission’s annual report to the Board of Supervisors this month. While overall production was down, there was one bright spot —though not for the best of reasons. Timber harvest numbers were up roughly 25 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. Vieira said this could be attributed to salvage from the North Complex Fire and she anticipates that this trend would continue with the Dixie Fire salvage efforts.

But overall, the county’s estimated commodity production decreased by 14 percent in 2021, coming in at $21,790,025. She broke those numbers down for the board:

Cattle – $11.5 million

Sheep – $1.4 million

Wool – $16,169

Goats – $11,186

Goat milk – $3,917

Hogs – $78,960

Honey – $20,385

Wax – $349

Eggs – $23,333

Poultry – $47,192

Alfalfa – $2.8 million

Grain hay – $699,300

Grass hay – $900,000

Organic production – $70,301

Vegetables $103,453

Small fruits – $29,454

Industrial hemp – $3.3 million

Nursery bedding plants – $28,650

Additionally, her department conducted 32 pest inspections and set traps for the gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, European pine shoot moth and the European corn borer. No pests were detected as a result of these traps.

The staff also worked to eradicate invasive species including musk and Scotch thistles.

As for the weights and measures portion of the annual report, Vieira said that 23 notices of violation were issued, representing an increase of 40 percent, primarily in petroleum labeling. Weights and Measures is tasked with testing weighing and measuring devices for accuracy; examining the work of service repairment; verifying the quantity of bulk and packaged commodities; check consumer packages for proper labeling; inspect price scanner systems for accuracy; review weighmaster certificates; and regulate the advertising, labeling and quality standards of petroleum products.

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