Vegetable Research & Information Center, UC Cooperative Extension

Salinas-Monterey Area Agriculture

Salinas Valley Salinas valley Salinas valley

The soil in this Salinas Valley field is being prepared for one of many cool season vegetable crops grown here.

Celery is an important crop in the Salinas Valley and is one of the many cool season vegetables that thrive in the cool, humid environment of this coastal region.

The marine influence of the Pacific Ocean flows into the Salinas valley and creates ideal conditions for crops such as cauliflower.

Salinas-Monterey Overview

Located in the central coast region of California, Monterey county encompasses the fertile, agriculturally important Salinas Valley. The valley, framed by mountain ranges on the east and west, runs the length of the county and is the site of most of the agricultural activities in the county. The north end of the Salinas Valley opens to the Pacific Ocean, source of the marine influence that cools the valley and makes possible the wide range of crops found here. With a total value of over $1.9 billion, Monterey county is the fourth highest agricultural producing county in California. The total land devoted to agriculture is approximately 1.4 million acres, and irrigated land is around 220,000 acres.

Monterey county agriculture is notable for its broad diversity of crops, many of which are grown year-round. Approximately 50 commodities in the county have a gross value of more than $1 million each. In addition, dozens of other products that gross less than this amount are important agricultural commodities of the country's. The highest percentage of acres is devoted to cool-season vegetables, such as artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, Asian vegetables, lettuce, and spinach. In the county's southern half, farmers grow warm-season vegetables, including carrot, pepper, potato, and tomato. Finally, Monterey county is home to a sizable wine grape industry and approximately one-third of the state's annual strawberry yield.

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California.
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Last updated: August 21, 2020
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