Agriculture industry grows $348 million

Agriculture industry grows $348 million

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Numbers from the 2015 Crop Report show production value in Monterey County hit $4.84 billion last year, an increase of almost 8-percent or $348 million from the previous year. An impressive statistic when comparing to other counties.

"What we're seeing in many other counties is that the value of their agricultural production went down. But our advantage here is that we grow a lot of different crops," said Assistant Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner Bob Roach.

That diversity gives the industry strength. Last year, 22 commodities went down, however 29 others went up. The top crops are broccoli, head lettuce, strawberries, and leaf lettuce.

"Some things go down and others go up. That's caused by many factors that are beyond our control. The weather, insects, pest pressure, market demands and so on," said Roach.

So what about this year?

"2016 has been a normal year. We haven't seen things that would cause major swings in the value. But we really don't know until the end of the year when we try to compile the numbers," said Roach.

The commission also looks at the overall impact of agriculture on the economy.

"The agriculture industry is the single largest driver of our local economy. 76-thousand jobs are created in agriculture when you take in account all the indirect and induce effects," said Roach.

Agriculture employs one out of four people in Monterey County and there's no signs of the industry slowing down.

"I would continue to forecast slow growth in the industry going forward," said Roach.

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