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December 8, 2023

Strawberry remains king in 2022 crop report

Crop production in Santa Cruz County last year showed a modest uptick from the previous year, with a 1.5% growth totaling more than $666.9 million.

 As usual, berries in 2022 remained the primary driving force in the county’s agricultural output at 60% of the total yield and a 3.4% growth, with strawberries far outpacing their bush-bound colleagues.

That is according to the 2022 Crop Report, released Friday by the Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner.

According to the report, more than 2,500 acres of strawberries brought in well over $220 million, a 4.2% increase from last year.

Meanwhile, vegetable crops garnered their fair share of economic input, growing 5.6% with more than $101 million in value.

Additionally, grapes had a good year, increasing a whopping 24% to $5.9 million.

Nursery crops, including cut flowers, decreased 6.4% to nearly $128 million. 

Agricultural Commissioner David Sanford called 2022 “a solid year.”

“Our agricultural sector continues to grow and contribute to the local economy,” Sanford said. “The 2022 Crop Report demonstrates that local agriculture is thriving and supporting local families, while our products continue to be enjoyed across the nation and throughout the globe.”

The report does not reflect the losses to cropland sustained during the storms, since the lion’s share of rain and flooding occurred this year, from January through March.

“There were significant losses on both sides of the (Pajaro) river,” Sanford said. “Monterey County took astronomical losses.”

The storms and flooding damaged crops, caused delays in planting and put some fields out of production.   

Still, farmers are rebounding and recovering from the damage, Sanford said.

“The growers here in Santa Cruz County are super resilient and super diversified, and adaptable to what they’re dealing with,” he said. 

To see the full report, click here or visit tinyurl.com/yejn2xww.


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