Big Money Year for County Crops

Due to last year’s unusually mild winter, Santa Barbara County agricultural products commanded the most money ever — just under $1.3 billion — since 1916 when records were first kept. Strawberries were the big winner and posted a $75 million increase over the year before; even though there were more acres of berries cultivated with higher yields per acre, prices held. Wine grapes — the county’s third most lucrative crop — did well, too, posting a $15 million increase over the previous year though acreage held steady. And broccoli, the county’s second highest earner, reported a $4 million increase. Marijuana is widely believed to be the county’s top grossing crop, but being against the law to grow, it does not show up in the County Agricultural Commissioner tabulations. “I have a hard time imagining a marijuana crop report,” noted Guy Tingos, the county’s assistant ag commissioner.

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