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Yolo Wine Grape Crop Booming

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, September 20, 2010

Rice, almonds, alfalfa and several other Yolo County crop values dropped last year.

"The slow economy has found its way to the farm."

County Agricultural Commissioner John Young says farmers generated $462 million in 2009, an 8% drop from the previous year. But there were some bright spots. Yolo County's leading commodity - processing tomatoes - increased in value by 21%.

"Another really, really bright spot for us is our wine grape production shot up to the number two spot."

…up from number four the previous year. Wine grapes brought in $56 million, a 34% increase from the previous year. Young says he expects wine grapes to be a leading crop next year even though the cooler than normal summer hasn't exactly helped.

"It has set them back a little bit but it doesn't seem to be affecting quality and yield. In Clarksburg, they're harvesting right now."

Many of those grapes will be trucked to crush facilities outside of Yolo County - something Young wants to change. Processing the grapes locally, Young says, would help Yolo County benefit even more from the lucrative wine economy.

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