Strawberries

Wikimedia Commons/Ixitixel

The commercial strawberry crops grown in Santa Barbara County were worth almost a half a billion dollars last year alone. That’s according to the 2016 Crop Report, released Monday by the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. The report lists the acreage, yield and gross dollar value of each of the county's crops.

SLO County 2016 crops valued at $915 million

May 10, 2017
Sharon Mollerus/Creative Commons

San Luis Obispo County’s agricultural crops were worth $915 million dollars last year. The county’s agricultural commissioner, Martin Settevendemie, released crop statistics for 2016 this week, and he said one surprising finding was that strawberry crops were almost as valuable as wine grapes on the market.

Who burned down farmworker housing in Nipomo, California?

Apr 19, 2017
Randy Fuller/Latino USA

Latino USA recently reexamined the 2016 fire in Nipomo that destroyed farmworker housing under construction. 

Strawberries top 'Dirty Dozen' list of produce with detectable pesticides

Apr 12, 2016
Jay Thompson - Cal Poly

The Central Coast's number one cash crop is taking a hit from an environmental watchdog group for what it calls an excessive use of pesticides. 

Twitter: BreakingSLONews

For many local farmers, rainfall during this critical drought was a welcome sound.

In the Paso Robles area, where some of the biggest rainfall totals were recorded, grapes are king.

Drought hurting crop value in San Luis Obispo County

Apr 14, 2015
Flickr member Fried Dough

Crops in San Luis Obispo County are dropping in value, likely a result of the ongoing drought according to statistics released Tuesday.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture says 2014's overall values dropped by two percent, year over year.

“Despite challenging drought and unusual weather during 2014, agriculture in San Luis Obispo County remains strong and is well in reach of achieving, in the near future, the $1 billion milestone in overall value”, said Ag Commissioner Martin Settevendemie.

Jay Thompson - Cal Poly

A large research project aimed at finding better ways to grow strawberries has some of those test berries showing up in the produce departments at local stores.

The Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center at Cal Poly is working on alternatives to the previous industry standard for soil fumigation called methyl bromide. The chemical is being phased out in California, so Central Coast berry growers are looking for viable alternatives, including the option of using no fumigants at all.

Flickr member Damian Gadal

Strawberries continue to be Santa Barbara County's largest crop based on gross earnings, but wine grapes are quickly gaining steam.

The county's wine industry knocked broccoli production out of the number two spot for 2013 with a total value of $163 million.

The Agricultural Commissioner's office released the most recent crop report late Tuesday afternoon. It shows total value of all the local crops at more than $1.4 billion, up nearly ten percent from 2012.