Inyo Mono Agricultural Commissioner George Milovich recently released the annual crop report for the region. The 2009 report shows that farming and ranching remains a major part of the local economy, but the report also shows a drop in value for the agricultural output in our two counties.
Milovich reports that the combined agricultural output for Inyo and Mono Counties in 2009 added up to just under $52 million for the year, a 17% drop from 2008. The drop in output is attributed to a reduction in the value of alfalfa due to a corresponding drop in dairy prices. Changes in seed production also reduced the amount of garlic planted in 2009.
While these two crops are credited with the lower value of agricultural production in the Eastern Sierra, Milovich reports that beef production remained steady in 2009, due to demand for quality beef.
Alfalfa, garlic, honey, and even dates are produced in the Eastern Sierra, but the bulk of the agricultural production comes from livestock. The value of livestock (including sheep and lambs) in Inyo County in 2009 was listed at just under $10 million. The value of the livestock in Mono County in 2009 is listed at just under $20 million.