Agriculture remains the largest industry in Santa Barbara County despite labor shortages, strict regulations and other impacts like drought and wildfires.
The 2017 Santa Barbara County Agricultural Production Report says ag products grossed more than $1.5 billion in production value, an increase of over $160 million over the the previous year.
Once again strawberries were the top crop in Santa Barbara County in 2017 accounting for more than 35 percent of total agricultural production with a gross value of more than $455 million.
Broccoli moved up to number two in production value in 2017 at more than $158 million, knocking Santa Barbara County’s highly regarded wine grapes down to third place with just over $146 million in value.
Impacts from the devastating Thomas Fire in December, along with the deadly mud and debris flows in January, did and will continue to have an impact on Santa Barbara County agricultural production.
How much remains to be seen particularly among avocados, citrus and cut flower production in the Carpinteria Valley.
The 2017 crop report says the Thomas Fire alone accounted for more than $11 million in total ag losses.
To read the 2017 Santa Barbara County Agricultural Production Report go to: http://www.countyofsb.org/uploadedFiles/agcomm/Content/Other/crops/2017.pdf.