For the second year straight, Santa Barbara County’s bounty of agricultural products raked in over $1 billion in 2007.
Agriculture remained the county’s dominant producing industry last year, with a gross production value of a little over $1.1 billion for the year. According to a report released by the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, production has increased 8.5 percent – around $86 million – since 2006.
County Agriculture Commissioner Bill Gillette said in a press release that when other economic factors are taken into consideration, the industry contributes even more to the local economy than its gross production value indicates.
“Agriculture also continues to provide a strong base for our local economy, and through the multiplier effect, agriculture and related activities had a total contribution in 2007 of more than $2 billion to the economy,” Gillette said in the press release.
According to Gillette, the county’s agricultural strength lies in its crop diversity. In 2007, the press release said, more than 50 different crops reported gross receipts of over $1 million.
Strawberries contributed most to the total, grossing $312.8 million for the county, the press release said, with broccoli coming in second.
Grapes, however, had an average harvest and brought in only $99.9 million, placing it third on the list, according to the press release.
Statewide, Santa Barbara County is ranked 14th in total agricultural production.