Ontario Chatham-Kent's newest cash crop appears to be marijuana. Almost 1,500 plants worth $1.4 million were seized by police from a rural property southeast of Ridgetown on July 8, but officials admit there's a lot more where that came from. "It's such a lucrative trade, it's hard to estimate how many pot plants are being grown in the Chatham-Kent area," Const. Doug Gutteridge of the Chatham-Kent Police Service said last week. Gutteridge said the plants that police seized "would fit into a small piece of property," and speculated there's probably a lot more of it being grown throughout the municipality. "It's a well-known fact that Chatham-Kent has the right ingredients for growing this type of plant," he said. "You've got the good soil, you've got the humidity, and the right amount of rainfall. "Unfortunately, there are those out there who want to make a fast buck at the expense of the citizens." That fast buck is the obvious attraction to growing the illicit plant. Police calculate that a mature marijuana plant is worth about $1,000, when its street value is projected. Gutteridge said the value is commonly accepted among police authorities, and is based on the experience of undercover cops. "You get an understanding of what ( dealers ) are selling it for," he said. And that street value has been established for some time. But how does the marijuana plant stack up against the corn plant-Ontario's second largest agricultural commodity and a major crop in Chatham-Kent? According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, between 26,000 and 30,000 kernels of seed are sown into the average acre. But local farmers say they're losing money on their corn crop because of depressed prices. The value of each mature corn plant can be measured in pennies. Gutteridge cautions that Chatham-Kent isn't the only region in Southwestern Ontario where marijuana is becoming a cash crop. "There are many, many other areas that have the same problem, and across North America. "It's because of marijuana's value," he added. "People have dollar figures in front of their eyes. They're hoping to make a quick buck. But it doesn't always work out that way. They're looking at jail time." Police made their big bust after getting a phone call. Gutteridge said while police work hard at chasing information, phone calls and tips are a big help. "Our resources are limited, so you have to use every advantage that you have."