This section is from the book "The Potato: A Compilation of Information from Every Available Source", by Eugene H. Grubb, W. S. Guilford. Also available from Amazon: The Potato: A Compilation Of Information From Every Available Source.
In many ways the Salinas Valley is very similar to Lompoc. It is on the coast, between Lompoc and San Francisco.
The maximum temperature is about 91, the minimum 28, or a little lower. Citrus fruits are not grown commercially.
The principal crops are potatoes, sugar-beets, deciduous fruits, and dairy cow feed.
The potatoes grown at Salinas are as smooth as eggs - average from four to twelve ounces in size, and have a beautiful, clear, netted skin.
The best soil is a sort of sandy loam, very mellow and easily worked. There are but a few hundred acres of this character, however, the balance being heavier.
When potatoes are not grown continuously on the land, the system is, grain, potatoes, sugar-beets. No fertilizing is done, and cover crops are not used.
The land sells for $100 to $500 an acre when offered, but there is practically none for sale. The entire valley was originally taken up by Mexican land grants and some of these have not yet been subdivided.
The seed stock is stored in straw-covered ricks, and sprouted once or twice before planting.
The land is plowed twice with a three-gang disk plow, ten inches deep; harrowed twice, cultivated twice, and hoed twice. The crop is dug by hand, Japanese labor being used. They do the hand labor for 30 per cent. of the crop.
Growers estimate that it costs $25 an acre to produce the crop. Seed cut to two to four ounces is used.
The crop of the valley is about 25,000 sacks. The yield is thirty-five to seventy sacks, of 100 to 110 pounds each, to the acre.