San Diego County has the 12th largest farm economy among the nation's more than 3,000 counties. San Diego County has more small farms, defined as fewer than 10 acres, than any other county. It ranks second in the number of farms with women as the principal operator. It is the leading producer of both nursery crops and avocados, although avocado production is diminishing. Ornamental trees and shrubs account for 23% of the total value of agricultural production in the County. Indoor flowering and foliage plants, together, is the highest value crop, valued at $457,000 per acre, or 18% of the total crop value.
The County of San Diego has always been at the forefront of organic farming, with the 347 growers who are registered as "organic" producing over 150 different crops on 6,700 acres. Most of the fruits and vegetables grown locally are of such high quality that they are used for fresh produce rather than being processed, canned or frozen. No genetically modified organism (GMO) crops are raised in San Diego County, and pesticide use is low.
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