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New Figures Show Agriculture Takes Slight Dip In Santa Barbara County In 2015

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Strawberries remain top crash crop in Santa Barbara County, even with a slight dip

The drought, and increasing production costs impacted Santa Barbara County’s agricultural industry, with just released figures show the overall crop value dropping slightly in 2015. Santa Barbara County’s annual agricultural report shows 2015 was a slightly off year for strawberries, avocados, and wine grapes, but good for blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Production totaled $1.48 billion dollars. That’s down about 11 million dollars, or seven tenths of a percent from 2014.

Strawberries are the number one crop in the county by a huge margin, at $438 million dollars, but that’s about $26 million off from the year before. Avocados were hit by a reduction in production due to the drought, as well as by a drop in prices. And, wine grapes had a rough year. The drought led to low production levels, and a nearly $50 million dollar drop in production value.

Other areas did show improvement, like cattle prices, and berries, which offset some of the losses from the hard hit crops.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.