Sorry, broccoli, grapes are No. 1



San Luis Obispo County agriculture production reported a record high last year, with the total crop value increasing 4.7 percent from 2005 to an estimated $621.5 million in 2006, according to the county's annual crop statistics released April 3.

For the 18th consecutive year, wine grapes were the top value agricultural crop no surprise to local oenophiles watching this area's vineyards and represented nearly $152 million, or 24 percent, of the overall combined value of the county's agriculture industry. Despite the high figures, the numbers were radically less than those in 2005, which saw record-breaking yields.

Broccoli took the second spot in the report, moving up one place from third last year, with more than $64 million.

Cattle and calves rounded out the top three, despite dropping a spot from last year, with nearly $60 million.

The overall value of fruits and nuts increased 72 percent compared to 2005. Strawberry prices had a 36 percent increase in value over 2005.

In good news for guacamole lovers, Hass avocados saw the biggest increase. They moved up six spots from 15th to ninth as they recorded $23.4 million this year, compared to $7.5 in 2005. The move came despite prices that plunged to roughly half of what they were the year before.

Behind cattle and calves, oriental vegetables saw the biggest drop, falling from $15.7 million and ninth place in 2005 to $13.2 million and 11th place this year.


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