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Wine grapes repeat as SLO County’s most valuable, record-breaking crop

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 21:11:27-04

The annual crops report released Tuesday by San Luis Obispo County highlights the regional benefits of a seemingly unquenchable thirst for local wine.

The report shows wine grapes top the list of hot agricultural commodities grown or raised in the county in 2017.

The value of wine grapes increased 10 percent from 2016, setting a new record of more than $267 million.

This is the second straight year wine grapes beat out strawberries, which remain the top crop in neighboring Santa Barbara County.

Strawberries were valued at $228.1 million in SLO County. The third-highest valued agriculture product is cattle and calves at $43.2 million.

Overall, the county reported a gross crop value of $924,698,000, a decline of less than one percent from 2016, the county said.

The SLO County Department of Agriculture said rain complicated winter vegetable planting, leading to a drop in acreage and production.

Harvest labor shortages also reportedly hurt production. Although prices were up for most vegetables, yields were down, according to the county.

Related content:
‘Top valued crop’ in San Luis Obispo County: Wine grapes