Santa Barbara County is bracing for a new wave of strawberry cultivators fleeing Ventura County to avoid the impacts of new air quality regulations designed to keep airborne fumigants out of the atmosphere. The new rules – which just went into effect – only apply to counties that fail to meet state air quality standards. Because Santa Barbara County meets these standards, many Ventura growers are expected to shift their base of operations north. Bill Gillette, the county’s agricultural commissioner. said he expects the number of acres under strawberry cultivation is to increase from 6,000 to 10,000 in the next several years. He also said he’s heard the land rent for strawberry land has increased by $500-to-$700 an acre.