California continues to lead the country in vegetable production, though acres planted in 2020 dropped 3% compared to 2019 across a selection of 26 vegetable and melon crops. That’s according to USDA’s  Vegetables 2020 Summary. The report also found the value of those crops dropped slightly less than 1%, to $7.68 billion, down from $7.74 billion in 2019.

The pandemic impacted labor supply for harvesting some crops and market demand for others.

“Growers plowed under broccoli due to limited demand by the hospitality industry,” USDA NASS wrote in a California summary of the national report.

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And while the weather favored cantaloupes in 2020, its inconsistency interrupted the flow of ripe tomatoes, which was then further hampered by fires.

“Wildfires that raged through the state in late summer and early fall slowed the processing tomato harvest,” the report noted.

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