August 1, 2023
  • Redwood City – Stung by drought, San Mateo County’s agricultural industry shrank by nearly 6 percent in 2022, according to a new report.

    The total value of agricultural production in 2022 was about $92.2 million, down from the prior year’s nearly $98 million.

    “Drought remained a factor for growers and ranchers in 2022,” Koren Widdel, the County’s Agricultural Commissioner, said in a report presented today to the Board of Supervisors. “With water in short supply, some operators switched to commodities they could dry farm, such as field crops with a 9.32 percent increase in gross value.”

    Crop Report Cover

    Still, the increase in field crops (dry beans, grains, hay) could not offset decreases in other categories.

    Floral and nursery crops account for the largest commodity group in San Mateo County. The $55.1 million production total in 2022 fell 8.57 percent from 2021’s $60.27 million.

    At $20.65 million, vegetable production value fell only slightly from $21.13 million in 2021.

    While the exact impacts of the drought are hard to add up, January 2022 was the sixth driest January in San Mateo County since 1895, with 0.54of an inch of rain.

    February 2022 was the third driest February since 1895, with .10 of an inch of rain. (By comparison, the series of storms that began in late December 2022 brought 11.76 inches of rain in January 2023, one of the wettest Januarys on record.)

    Highlights from the 2022 San Mateo County Agricultural Crop Report:

    • Brussels sprouts topped the list of locally grown vegetables by value, at $8.25 million (down from $8.78 million in 2021).
    • Flowering and foliage potted plants were valued at $30.2 million, down from $35.5 million in 2021.
    • San Mateo County obtained a historic high in livestock total value, at nearly $6.4 million, due to poultry sale increases.

    Note: Values are gross values of commodities and do not reflect production costs or profits.

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