Santa Cruz County flowers hit hard during pandemic

The 2020 Santa Cruz County crop report reveals the impact the pandemic had on some of the largest growers. In total, the production value of Santa Cruz County agriculture grew in 2020 by 1.7%, or more than $10,700,000.

Strawberries remained the top crop of the county, with an estimated 2,137 planted acres, worth $193,911,000. Raspberries took the number two spot. In total, the report said that berries saw a 6.4% overall increase in value compared to 2019.

But hot weather, wildfire smoke, and the pandemic all hampered agricultural production of apples, wine grapes, and flowers.

Apples saw a 46% decrease in value after an unusually hot August. Wine grapes saw an 18% decrease because of wildfire smoke, the report said. Cut flower and cut greens took the biggest hit at 58%.

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