Top Crop from the Nation’s Salad Bowl is Leaf Lettuce

The 2014 Monterey County Crop Report was made public yesterday by the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.  For most people, the main takeaway from this report would be the fact that Monterey Crop values hit an all-time high ($4.49 billion) in 2014.  For those who work in the leafy greens farming community, it is a particular point of pride to see leaf lettuce* taking the number one spot with a crop value of $775,432,000.  Also notable is the fact that head (aka iceberg) lettuce took the number three spot with a crop value of $651,136,000.  In 2014 vegetable crops overall increased by 9% in value.

*includes primarily Romaine, but also butter leaf, endive, escarole, green leaf and red leaf

Other information from the report that we found interesting:

  • Canada receives the majority of Monterey County crop exports (66%), followed by Taiwan (11%), Japan (8%) and Mexico (6%).  Lettuce is the largest export with 414 million pounds in 2014.
  • There are 158 organic producers registered in Monterey County.  In 2014, they grew 46,579 acres with gross sales of over $227 million.

The theme of the 2014 crop report is: Our Crops, Our People.  As a food safety organization we couldn’t agree more that it is people within companies and farming communities who make all the difference.

If you have a few moments, watch the video that supplements this report here:



Also of note:  Monterey County provides crop reports dating as far back as 1929 on their website – below you can see a snapshot of the 1934 report, where lettuce was still the top crop.


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