The North County Times reports a continuing drought and slowing economy have given rise to ornamental trees and shrubs as the new No. 1 crop in San Diego County–the first shift in the top spot in 26 years, according to an annual survey the county released last week.
Indoor flowering and foliage plants were supplanted from the top spot as growers continued to shift away from tree fruit and toward products with higher values, market niches and opportunity for tourism tie-ins.
Ornamental trees and shrubs, as a category of the top crops measured by the county agency, had a total value of $365.2 million in 2009, up from the $303.4 million reported a year earlier. The indoor flowering and foliage plants category saw its total value fall to $290.9 million in 2009 from $319.1 million a year earlier.
Learn more about the San Diego County crop shift at NCTimes.com.