Central Coast Overview
The Central Coast includes parts of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Vegetable production in this area occurs in a number of coastal valleys drained by streams that flow directly into the Pacific Ocean.
These small valleys provide unique climatic niches and soil types which are ideal for the year round production of many fruits, vegetables and seed crops. Of the valleys, the Oxnard Plain, the Lompoc and Santa Maria Valleys, the Oceano Plain and Lopez Canyon constitute the largest production units. These areas plus other smaller valleys comprise about 150,000 acres of prime farmland.
This region has also come-of-age as a premium wine grape production area and approximately 41,000 acres of rolling hills mainly in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are now planted to grapes.
The Oxnard Plain produces most of the celery grown in California, Other crops include dry beans, strawberries, onions, bell and chile peppers and a variety of cool season leafy vegetables. The Lompoc Valley is still home to a large flower seed production industry as well as an area for field grown cut flowers, plus broccoli, cauliflower, dry beans, lettuce, celery and annual artichokes. The Santa Maria valley produces year round broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, Oriental vegetables, plus spinach, parsley, cilantro, other leafy greens and edible pod peas. Warm season crops include bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, dry and green beans and summer squashes. This same vegetable mix extends into the Oceano-Lopez Canyon area.
Vegetable production constitutes a $175,743.0001 industry in San Luis Obispo County, a $328,620,5741 industry in Santa Barbara County and a $296,839,0002 industry in Ventura County.
1 Year 2000 Agricultural Commissioner's Report
2 Year 1999Agricultural Commissioner's Report