Top 10 Crops In Santa Cruz County, California

In October, 2014, I wrote a post about the field trip my dad and I took to the strawberry fields of Pajaro Valley, located in Santa Cruz, California – one of the most concentrated, richest farming areas in the world.  Our diets wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as they are without California’s amazing array of specialty crops.


Santa Cruz County’s ag industry is valued at $616 million, according to the 2014 Crop Report.  Here are its top earning commodities:

                                                    Value in Millions of $$$
Crop                                          2013                            2014

  1.  Strawberries                        $201.8                           $228.1
  2. Raspberries                             152.2                              131.3
  3. Nursery Stock                         74.1                                 77.3
  4. Cut flowers and greens         17.8                                 42.3
  5. Vegetables                               41.8                                 41.4
  6. Blackberries                            33.9                                35.0
  7. Lettuce                                     17.7                                  19.3
  8. Brussel Sprouts                      14.5                                  11.3
  9. Apples                                      11.9                                  10.9
  10. Livestock                                 6.9                                    7.3


The one thing Pajaro Valley farmers worry about it the drought – they’ve suffered the same water shortage which has crippled the rest of the Golden State.  Though the 4 year dry spell has hit harder elsewhere, the Pajaro Valley depends on groundwater that is in short supply.  Underground aquifers here have been pumped in excess of rainfall recharge.


When we hear about California’s drought, we frequently think it has nothing to do with us – but really, we all depend on California’s fruits and vegetables for our diets!

Interestingly, agriculture remains the top industry in Santa Cruz, surpassing even tourism.  When one thinks of Santa Cruz, it is of surfers, hippies, redwood trees and the Boardwalk… we can also include berries and flowers in that!

The 2014 Crop Report is available at

This entry was posted in Ag exports, Ag Production, Education, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Strawberries, Water and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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