UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
University of California
UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

Fall 2012: Ag economic issues and LBAM update

Regional Report for Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties by Steve Tjosvold

Monterey County Ag Economic Contributions

A report produced for the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s office conveys the importance of Monterey County agriculture’s  role in maintaining a vibrant local economy.  Using current economic data, the report analyzes the total contribution to the local economy, including economic output, jobs and economic “ripple effects.”

In summary Monterey County agriculture contributes a total of $8.2 billion to the local economy, including:

$5.1 billion in direct economic output, which represents 18.5% of the county’s total economic output and makes agriculture the county’s largest economic sector.

$3.1 billion in additional economic output in the form of expenditures by agriculture companies and their employees.

73,429 jobs in Monterey County economy: 45,140 direct employees, which is about 20% of all jobs in the county, or 1 out of every 5 workers. Also, 28,289 additional jobs, made possible by expenditures by agriculture companies and their employees.

Makes $102.2 million in indirect business tax payments each year. Depends on the Salinas Valley for 70% of its economic output and 79% of agriculture jobs.

In 2010, nursery and floriculture crops contributed 8 % of the total gross economic output.

You can obtain the full report by downloading at this link:  http://ag.co.monterey.ca.us/.


Labor Shortages Plague Pajaro Valley Growers

An article by Jennifer Squires of the Watsonville Patch outlines how the national agriculture labor shortage is manifesting itself in the local agriculture industry.  According to the author, “some farmers in the Pajaro Valley said that their labor crews are 10% to 20%  off previous years.” Most blame it on tighter immigration policies that cause fewer migrant workers to come across the border from Mexico.

The problem is pronounced in California, where farmers are reporting labor shortages as high as 50%, according to Rayne Pagg, manager of Federal Policy Division at the California Farm Bureau Federation. The coalition released a survey to its members in September asking for data on their labor issues. The Farm Bureau reported that during the first week of the survey, 80% of farmers who responded were not been able to hire enough people this year to pick crops, including berries, tree fruit and wine grapes.

For the complete Watsonville Patch article, see:


Radio Program Looks at Farm Labor Shortage

Local berry farmer Tom Am Rhein, past president of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, is the guest of a MetroFarm radio program, The Food Chain, in which he comments on state and local agricultural labor. Topics include the nature of farm labor and labor shortages. Go to the following link for the “Farm Labor’s Lost II,” show #788: http://metrofarm.com/mf_Food_Chain_Radio.php.

The Food Chain is an audience-interactive agriculture news radio program, which is syndicated on commercial radio stations throughout the United States and streamed live and on demand via the internet. For more information, including a list of radio station affiliates, call Michael Olson at 831-566-4209 or email


LBAM Field Data Available for Pest Management

Light brown apple moth (LBAM) trapping data near nurseries and farms is now available from 5 areas in this region.  The data will be updated every 2 weeks as part of our current research program. With a knowledge of LBAM moth migration patterns, nursery operators can make better LBAM management decisions in their nurseries.  See our website for more information:  http://cesantacruz.ucanr.edu/.

Steven A. Tjosvold
Farm Advisor, Environmental Horticulture
UC Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz County
1432 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville, CA 95076-2796
831) 763-8013 phone, (831) 763-8006 fax


Webmaster Email: jtillman@ucdavis.edu