SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - For the seventh consecutive year, the value of Santa Barbara County's agricultural products grown during the past year surpassed the $1 billion mark, according to Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Fisher.
The figures were released Monday by the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's Office as part of the 2012 Agricultural Production Report.
Agriculture continues to be the county's major producing industry with a gross production value of almost $1.3 billion in 2012. This is an increase of $96 million, or approximately 8.1 percent, when compared with the 2011 figure.
Strawberries' reign as the county's leading crop with a gross value of $441 million in 2012, an increase of almost $75 million from 2011. Broccoli remained in second place with a total value of almost $131 million.
After a very difficult year in 2011, wine grapes had a more typical harvest with strong prices to keep wine grapes in third place with a total value of $91 million. Lettuce remained in fourth place at $66 million. Avocados stayed in fifth place with gross receipts of $56 million and complete the list of the top five commodities produced in 2012.
Santa Barbara County is California's 13th-ranked county in total agricultural production. More than 40 different crops produced in 2012 reported gross receipts in excess of $1 million.
The 2012 report can be found online at www.agcommissioner.com.