A survey of agricultural damage caused in Monterey County by a series of March storms found current and future losses totaling $264 million, county officials said.
The survey by the county’s Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and a prior survey of impacts from January’s series of atmospheric river storms combine to estimate $600 million in damage to the local agricultural industry this year.
The most significant of the impacts determined in the most recent survey were to strawberries due to flooding in the Pajaro Valley when a levee was breached during the March storm. An estimated 1,919 acres were damaged, causing $160 million in losses.
Other commodities in the county damaged in the storm were more than $54 million in lettuces, more than $24 million in other vegetable crops, and $11 million in raspberries and blackberries, according to the survey.
“This has proven to be one of the most difficult winters many of our growers and communities have experienced in our area,” county Agricultural Commissioner Juan Hidalgo said in a news release announcing the survey results. “I am hopeful that having a full picture of the extent of this winter’s damage will open new recovery opportunities and assistance to our impacted growers.”
The most recent U.S. Farm Census found that Monterey County has 1,104 farms covering 366,709 crop acres. Between the various storms this winter, more than 20,000 acres had damage reported in the two surveys.