Tulare County supervisors receive 2016 crop report, approve new budget

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Tulare County will have $1.2 billion budget, sees crop production value drop 8.8 percent (KFSN)

The highly anticipated 2016 crop report was presented to Tulare County Supervisors Tuesday. The county fell behind Kern County to the number two spot in the state.

Tulare County was #1 in 2015, while Kern County was #2. Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita says the county's gross production value for 2016 was $6.3 billion, a decrease of almost nine percent from 2015.

Milk is still the most valuable commodity in the county, at $1.6 billion. Oranges took over the county's number two spot, pushing cattle and calves back to third place.

The value of field crops, such as cotton and hay, dropped 36.5 percent from the previous year, due to falling prices and reduced acreage.

Tulare County Supervisors also approved its next fiscal year budget at Tuesday's meeting. County officials who crafted the proposed $1.2 billion budget say it's stronger than last year's budget and is balanced, fiscally sustainable, and economically sound.

Officials say the budget increased by $50 million from last year. The general fund budget also increased by $37 million, and the county's credit rating is A+.

Officials say the budget will allow them to invest in public services such as public safety, communities, and the people of Tulare County.

"The people of Tulare County can be secure in the knowledge that this budget is strong, and that essential public services will be delivered efficiently and effectively," said County Administrative Officer Michael Spata.

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