Monterey County Farm Bureau

Annual Crop Report

2019 Monterey County Crop Report

Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales announced on June 23rd  that the 2019 Crop Report reflects a production value of $4.41 billion for Monterey County, an increase of 3.5% from the prior year.  As stated by Commissioner Gonzales:

I am pleased to release the 2019 Annual Crop
Report for the County of Monterey. This report reflects a production value of $4,409,992,000 which is an increase of 3.5% from 2018. It is important to note that the values represented in this report reflect gross value of agricultural commodities grown in Monterey County
and not the costs associated with labor, field preparation, planting, irrigating, harvesting, distribution, and other production activities. As is always the case, we saw some crops increase in value while others decreased in value. The following are the major increases and decreases.

Leaf lettuce is our top crop with a value of $840,555,000. This represents a 14.6% increase from
2018 and is largely attributed to better pricing for Romaine lettuce. Strawberries came in as the
2nd most valuable crop at $732,761,000 with an increase of 4.9% or $34,251,000. The increase
mostly resulted from improved pricing for fresh strawberries. Head lettuce was again the 3rd most
valuable crop at $514,088,000, an increase of 11.9% or $54,636,000. The increased value in head
lettuce was due to increased production and higher average pricing for carton packed lettuce.
Broccoli repeated its 4th place ranking with a 17.6% increase to $457,390,000. Broccoli’s increase
in value was mostly due to increased production.

The Vegetable Crops category saw a decrease in value of $227,989,000 to $3,099,088,000. Fruits
and Nuts category saw a decrease of $15,710,000 to $1,028,146,000. (Fruits and Nuts category,
without Wine Grapes, saw an increase of $45,952,000 or 5.7% to $842,050,000.) Wine Grapes saw
a decrease of 24.8% or $61,662,000 to reach a total for red and white varietals of $186,096,000 due
to a decrease in average price per ton. Nursery Crops suffered a decrease of 29.5% or $60,310,000
due to decreases in acreage, production, and prices once again due to increased imports and
demand for greenhouse space for cannabis production.

Several crops such as livestock, alfalfa, and pastureland were influenced by above average late
season rains. Field Crops increased in value by $806,000 to $24,554,000. Livestock and Poultry
remained stable at $110,580,000.

This report would not be possible without the voluntary contribution of the agricultural industry in
providing us with their data. This year, in addition to presenting our crop values, we are drawing
awareness to Invasive Species which adversely affect agricultural production by resulting in
quarantines and increasing the use of pesticides.

Link to the full 2019 Crop Report here.

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 $11 million value mark, with 11 commodities exceeding $100 million.

Monterey County Ag production has exceeded $4 billion every year since 2012, demonstrating the diversity that is important to making our agricultural economy stable from year to year.. 

Monterey County's Top 12 Crops in 2019:

  1. Leaf Lettuce = $840,555,000
  2. Strawberries = $732,761,000
  3. Head Lettuce = $514,088,000
  4. Broccoli = $457,390,000
  5. Cauliflower = $212,375,000
  6. Misc. Vegetagles = $196,840,000
  7. Celery = $186,391,000
  8. Wine Grapes = $186,096,000
  9. Nursery Stock = $143,979,000
  10. Spinach = $127,120,000

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 Kern, Tulare, and Fresno Counties.

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)