Monterey County Farm Bureau

Annual Crop Report

2016 Monterey County Crop Report

Agricultural Commissioner Eric Lauritzen announced on June 27th that the 2016 crop report reflects a production value of $4.25 billion for Monterey County as he released the county’s annual Crop Report.

Overall value decreased 9.5% or $449 million from the previous year.  Lauritzen noted that crop values vary from year to year based on production, market, and weather conditions.  The decrease in total crop value for 2016 is primarily the result of market conditions affecting many core vegetable crops with eight of the County’s top ten crops showing decreases from 2015 values.  This is largely due to stable production but stagnant prices.

Some highlights from the Crop Report:

  • Leaf lettuce retained the top spot in 2016 with an estimate value of $783 million, a 10% decrease.
  • At number two, strawberry values of $725 million remained nearly the same as 2015.
  • Head lettuce value of $478 million showed a 25% decline due to lower production, but it remained firmly as the number three crop.
  • The wine grape sector was the lone standout among the top ten crops in 2016 with a 28.5% increase, after a below-average year in 2015.
  • Total nursery crop value declined by 12%, in part because many greenhouses are being transitioned to medical cannabis production.


If Monterey County were to be considered as a state, total production surpasses over twenty of the other states.  Production of 26 commodities exceeds the $12 million value mark, with 10 commodities exceeding $100 million.

Lauritzen noted that Monterey County Ag production has exceeded $4 billion every year since 2012.  "That in itself is an amazing accomplishment, and it speaks to the vitality of our Ag industry," said Lauritzen.  "But it also demonstrates the diversity and important contribution Agriculture makes to our economy and community."

This year's Crop Report highlights the wine and wine grape sector.  Kim Stemler, Executive Director of Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association (Monterey, commented that, "We anticpate that Monterey grapes will contineu a trend of increasing value.  The quality of Monterey's grapes compvine with the relative value are pushing up demand.  Wine Spectator Magazine ranked each of the last four vintages (years) of pinot noir from the Sant Lucia Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area) as the best in Califonria."

A short video on Monterey County viticulture can be found on the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner's website here.  The video highlights various aspects of the wine sector with interview describing its evolution.

Monterey County's Top 10 Crops in 2016:

  1. Leaf Lettuce = $783,102,000
  2. Strawberries = $724,602,000
  3. Head Lettuce = $478,172,000
  4. Broccoli = $391,790,000
  5. Nursery Stock = $276,423,000
  6. Wine Grapes = $238,892,000
  7. Cauliflower = $189,567,000
  8. Celery = $161,788,000
  9. Misc. Vegetables = $158,350,000
  10. Spinach = $132,716,000

Note: all crop values are gross production amounts and do not represent profits on individual crops.

Monterey County is again the fourth highest Ag producing County in California, following Tulare, Kern, and Fresno Counties.

View the full 2016 Crop Report here.

View a schedule of crops grown and harvested in Monterey County by season.

Ag Commissioner issues reports on local conservation efforts:

Water Conservation Principles (link)

Water Conservation at Bernardus Estate Vineyards (link)

Soil Conservation Principles (link)

Energy Conservation Principles (link)