Monterey County Farm Bureau

Facts, Figures & FAQs

Farming supports local families: nearly 1 in 5 households relies on income related to agriculture which supports 76,000 jobs.

Farming supports the local economy: In addition to crops produced, where Agriculture contributes over $3.9 billion per year to Monterey County’s economic output, with a total estimated impact of over $11.7 billion on the local economy.

Monterey County feeds our Nation: crops grown in Monterey County supply large percentages of total national pounds produced each year:  61% of leaf lettuce, 57% of celery, 56% of head lettuce, 48% of broccoli, 38% of spinach, 30% of cauliflower, 28% of strawberries, and 3.6% of wine grapes.

Farming provides a healthy local food supply: Monterey County farmers are among the most productive and efficient in the world, growing more than 150 crops.

Farmers care about our natural resources: irrigation water use has decreased by 17% in the past two decades due to irrigation efficiency practices and new technology, while increasing crop production values by 45%.

We are a local voice for agriculture: Monterey County Farm Bureau has been working to sustain local food and farmers since 1917.

Farming shapes the local landscape: for every acre of buildings and pavement in Monterey County there are four acres of strawberries, lettuce, grapes, and other crops.

Farming supports local communities: Agriculture generates tax revenues for Monterey County supporting services that enhance everyone’s quality of life.


  • What are the Top Crops Produced in Monterey County?
    Strawberries, Leaf Lettuce, Head Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Nursery & Flowers, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, and Livestock & Poultry.
  • Which crop increased production values the most in the past 5 years?
    Strawberries increased in value by $26% over 2019 production
  • How many acres produce crops in Monterey County?
    267,873 acres in current production including vineyards, plus over 1 million acres of rangeland
  • How much of crop production on irrigated lands are using drip irrigation tape?
    Approx. 72% of crops utilize water-conserving drip irrigation tape as their main delivery method for irrigation
  • How many acres of crop production utilize time clocks to maintain irrigation applications?
    153,715 acres utilize time clocks and pressure switches to maintain schedules
  • How many acres of crop production are in organic products? 132,809 acres, increase of 34% year-to-year, with gross sales of $757,887,000
  • What is the total pounds of crops exported from the Salinas Valley region?
    371,262,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables are exported to other countries
  • What crops are the leaders in exported fruits and vegetables?
    Lettuce, Strawberries, Celery, Boccoli, and Cauliflower
  • What are Monterey County's largest trading partners, internationally?
    Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Europen Union, and UAE


Fast Facts About U.S. Farms

  • 2 million farms dot America’s rural landscape. About 98% of U.S. farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations.
  • Farm and ranch families comprise less than 2% of the U.S. population.
  • About 11% of U.S. farmers are serving or have served in the military.
  • 87% of U.S. ag products sold are produced on family farms or ranches.
  • Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents.
  • 25% of all farmers are beginning farmers (in business less than 10 years); their average age is 46.
  • The number of farm operators of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin is higher than ever, up 13% to 112,451. There also are more African American (45,508, up 2%) farm operators.
  • Independence Day is the top food holiday in the U.S. Americans spend $6.9 billion on July 4th cookouts each year.
  • In 2018, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.
  • More than half of America’s farmers intentionally provide habitat for wildlife. Deer, moose, fowl and other species have shown significant population increases for decades.
  • Careful stewardship by America’s food producers has spurred a 34% decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982.
  • Americans throw away an estimated 25% of the food they bring home every month and a whopping 40% of all food grown and produced in the U.S. is never eaten.

Courtesy of American Farm Bureau Foundation