Value of timber harvests declines |

Value of timber harvests declines

The value of Nevada County agricultural products dropped in 2001 from the prior year, due mainly to falling timber harvests and prices.

The total value of the county’s agricultural products in 2001 fell 14.7 percent to $19 million, down from $22.3 million in 2000, according to the annual crop and livestock report compiled by the county Department of Agriculture.

The decline was mainly due to a decrease in the county’s No. 1 agricultural product in value – timber. The value of timber harvested in Nevada County fell to $11.8 million in 2001, from $15.2 million in 2000.

There was less timber harvested in 2001 compared with the year before, and it was worth 2 cents less per board foot than in 2000.

A total of 39.9 million board feet was harvested in 2001, down from 47.3 million in 2000. In 1999, the timber harvest totaled 40 million board feet.

In 2001, 19 percent of the county’s timber crop was harvested from government lands, according to the state Board of Equalization. Tahoe National Forest comprises the biggest chunk of government land in Nevada County.

The prior year saw 33.7 percent of the county’s timber harvest coming from government land.

While timber fell, the wine grape crop has grown, thanks to more acreage.

Agricultural Commissioner Paul Boch said red grape production is expected to rise as acres that are already planted start bearing fruit.

A total of 348 acres of wine grapes bore fruit valued at $1.2 million last year. There were 262 acres of red wine grapes bearing fruit in 2001, up from 217 the year before. Total value of the crop was $1 million in 2001, up from $737,000 in 2000.

The 86 acres of white wine grapes was unchanged, but the value dropped because of a frost in spring 2001. Vintners harvested $227,000 of white wine grapes in 2001, down from $448,000 in 2000.

The report also showed higher revenue for miscellaneous fruit and vegetables in 2001, and lower revenue from Christmas trees and nursery stock.

The report showed 29 registered organic farms in Nevada County in 2001, compared with 28 farms in 2000.

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