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Drought hurting crop value in San Luis Obispo County

Flickr member Fried Dough

Crops in San Luis Obispo County are dropping in value, likely a result of the ongoing drought according to statistics released Tuesday.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture says 2014's overall values dropped by two percent, year over year.

“Despite challenging drought and unusual weather during 2014, agriculture in San Luis Obispo County remains strong and is well in reach of achieving, in the near future, the $1 billion milestone in overall value”, said Ag Commissioner Martin Settevendemie.

Strawberries beating out wine grapes for the top crop in the county for 2014. Avocado crops are showing some of the most dramatic signs of drought effects... with a decrease of 50 percent since 2013. Salt build up in the soil from lack of rainfall also hurt the trees, according to the report.

Mild winter temperatures had a favorable effect on several vegetable crops, including head lettuce and cauliflower. However, the department received widespread reports of soil salinity causing crop damage.