California continues to fall behind production numbers of the past few seasons for fresh market strawberries. The current volume YTD is the lowest of the past five years, and with current weather conditions forcing some growers to pick juice grade fruit, it is likely that production will lag behind previous years for the next few weeks. The Santa Maria area has only picked about one third of the volume that they had last year at this time. Cooler weather has slowed the production of strawberries in that district.
Currently there is very little premium being offered for organic fresh production versus conventional in the marketplace. Typically there is a large spread in pricing between the two, but at the present time only a couple of dollars separate pricing per box. Fresh market pricing for conventional fruit is holding up well. Growers that can still harvest fresh market fruit after the recent rain event are able to get a good return at the present time.