Monterey County Farm Bureau

Annual Crop Report

2020 Monterey County Crop Report

Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales announced on July 20, 2021, that the 2020 Crop Report reflects a production value of $3.91 billion for Monterey County, an decrease of 11.3% from the prior year.

This decrease reflects impacts from both COVID-19 and wildfires that swept through the County.

When combined with the supplemental Cannabis crop production report, Monterey County's total gross output in 2020 approximated $4.4 billion.

As stated by Commissioner Gonzales:

The COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 wildfires depressed the production of most of our crops. The pandemic
emergency restrictions resulted in the closure of schools and cancellation of conferences among the many
impacts. Agriculture subsequently suffered the loss of much of the foodservice sector. In some instances,
ash from the wildfires made some produce unsellable, resulting in crop losses.

The following are the major increases and decreases for 2020:

Strawberries moved up to the top crop spot with a value of $922,683,000. This represents a 26% increase
from 2019 and is largely attributed to increased acreage and pricing for strawberries. Leaf lettuce dropped
to the second most valuable crop at $712,681,000 with a decline of 15.2% or $127,874,000 compared to
the previous year. This decrease mostly resulted from lower pricing for leaf lettuce. Head lettuce remained
the third most valuable crop at $428,580,000, a decrease of 16.6% or $85,508,000 from the previous
year. The lessened value in head lettuce was due to a reduction in acreage and lower average pricing for
lettuce. Broccoli maintained its fourth place ranking despite a 25.3% decrease to $341,495,000. Broccoli’s
decrease in value compared to 2019 was mostly due to less production.

Vegetable Crops saw a decrease in value of $574,480,000 to $2,524,608,000. Fruit and Nut Crops saw
an increase of $96,591,000 to $1,124,737,000. (The Fruits and Nuts category without including Wine
Grapes values, saw an increase of $176,696,000 or nearly 21%, to $1,018,746,000 due in part to the
increase in value of strawberries.) Wine Grapes saw a significant decrease of 43% or $80,105,000 to
reach a total for red and white varietals of $105,991,000 partly due to effects of wildfires, the COVID-19
pandemic, a decrease in production and average price per ton. Nursery Crops suffered a decrease of
16.8% or $24,143,000 due to reduced acreage, production, and prices once again favoring an increase
in imports and demand for cannabis greenhouse production.

Field Crops increased in value by $927,000 to $25,481,000. Livestock and Poultry remained stable at

In addition to reporting information on the status of agriculture in the County, this year we are highlighting
the resilience of Monterey County Agriculture in the face of the worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19,
local wildfires, and how the agricultural industry, health care providers, community groups, County Board
of Supervisors, and others collaborated in response to adversity. This report also highlights Monterey
County essential agricultural workers for their hard work and perseverance to provide food
even when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst.

I would also like to express my appreciation to the agricultural industry in providing us with vital
information to make this report possible. I am especially appreciative of all the hard work and diligence
of our staff and would like to thank Rich Ordonez, Graham Hunting, Yvonne Perez, Shayla Neufeld, Mayra
Marrufo, as well as those who assisted in compiling, analyzing and reviewing the information.

Link to the full 2020 Crop Report here.

This year's Crop Report features "Ag Community Responds to Adversity" written by Norm Groot, Monterey County Farm Bureau Executive Director, reflecting back on the harships faced during 2020.

If Monterey County were to be considered as a state, total production surpasses over twenty of the other states.  Production of 25 commodities exceeds the $13 million value mark, with 12 commodities exceeding $100 million.

Dispite Monterey County Ag production dropping below $4 billion, the first time since 2012, farmers continue demonstrate resiliency due to the diversity of our agricultural economy. 

Monterey County's Top 12 Crops in 2020:

  1. Strawberries = $922,683,000
  2. Leaf Lettuce = $ 712,681,000
  3. Head Lettuce = $428,580,000
  4. Broccoli = $341,495,000
  5. Cauliflower = $192,790,000
  6. Spinach = $141,284,000
  7. Nursery & Flowers = $119,836,000
  8. Brussels Sprouts = $116,250,000
  9. Celery = $114,920,000
  10. Livestock & Poultry = $110,891,000

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)