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SLO County agriculture valued at over one billion dollars

SLO County Ag Commissioner
A graph on page 13 of the report visualizes SLO County's top crops.

The latest crop statistics for San Luis Obispo County are out, and in 2018, San Luis Obispo’s agriculture industry exceeded one billion dollars in overall value.

According to the county agricultural office's 2018 annual crop report, the top three commodities in San Luis Obispo County last year were wine grapes at number one, strawberries at number two and broccoli at number three.

In his introduction, SLO County Agricultural Commissioner Martin Settevendemie said the values given in the report “do not reflect net profits for producers, but rather, the gross farm gate value of agricultural commodities produced within the county.”

The value of the county’s wine grape crop increased by three percent over that of 2017. As for strawberries, a jump in the number of “planted acres and the cultivation of higher yielding cultivars resulted in overall record values for strawberries.”

Other crops in the top ten are avocados, cattle and calves, head lettuce and cut flowers.

That last crop is on the rise in San Luis Obispo, as there’s less competition from neighboring counties. Why? Because those neighboring counties are converting former flower greenhouses to cannabis production at a higher rate, according to the report.

The total wine grape value hit a record high in 2018. You can find San Luis Obispo County crop reports dating back to 1928 on the county’s website.

This report initially aired on KCBX News on July 12, 2019.

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