Santa Barbara County Releases 2023 Agriculture Report: Strawberries Remain Top Crop

$1.875 billion value of agricultural production in Santa Barbara County in 2023
Strawberries remain the cornerstone of the agricultural economy

Santa Barbara County’s Agricultural Commissioner’s Office released its 2023 Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report on June 18, 2024.  This statistical report summarizes the acreage, production, and gross production value of Santa Barbara County agriculture.

Agriculture continues to be Santa Barbara County’s largest producing industry with a gross production value of $1,875,978,000.  This is a decrease of 2.8% when compared with 2022.

It is important to note that the values represented in this report reflect the gross value of agricultural commodities grown in Santa Barbara County, and do not consider costs associated with labor, planting, irrigation, and distribution among other production activities.

Strawberries remained the top crop in Santa Barbara County, and have been the No. 1 crop each year since 2002, with a gross value of $775,282,000, a decrease of 4.4% from 2022.  The 2023 atmospheric rivers caused a decrease in production which in turn had a significant economic impact from crop losses.

“We saw a decrease in our fruit values from berries to avocados this year primarily because of the January 2023 storms, that brought significant amounts of rain to our area.  New countries entering a very competitive market also led to price reductions in avocados,” said Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer Jose Chang.

Nursery products moved to the second most valuable crop at $122,301,000.  This was a 28% increase for the group which primarily represents cut flowers and potted plants.  Product stabilization, market demand, and increased production led to the overall increase.

Wine grapes remained at the third spot at $98,562,000 with an increase in value of 2.3%.  The weather in the 2023 growing season contributed to an increase in value for wine grapes due to a long blooming period, which combined with better soil conditions created higher yields and quality. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc were the three most harvested varieties with the highest gross value.

Broccoli moved up to the fourth spot with a value of $86,737,000. Cauliflower moved down to the fifth spot with a total value of $84,078,000, a decrease of 13%, due to a decrease in production and market value.

Livestock production values saw a 14% increase from 2022.  This was due to ranchers retaining more pasture and range from the rainy season, along with higher sales from inflation and demand for beef.

The fruits & nuts category represented 50% of the county’s gross production value with $932,467,000, owing it to strawberries. Vegetable crops represented 33% of the total gross production value with $615,524,000. Nursery products represented 7% of total gross production value with $122,301,000, followed closely behind by wine grapes representing 5% of total gross production with $98,562,000.

The 2023 Crop & Livestock Report is available in both English and Spanish.

The 2023 report, as well as other reports since 1916, can be found online at,

Crop Reports | Santa Barbara County, CA – Official Website (

What do you think?


0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment

Garden Street Dog Honors Juneteenth

Cannabis Tax Reform Fizzles Out