The fresh market strawberry crop in California is running behind in
volume compared to the last four years according to statistics from USDA
published on the California Strawberry Commission's website. The
removal of acreage, along with a slower start to the season, has left
the volume much lower this year than last year. The heavy volume from
Florida and Mexico over the past month has diminished, and California
growers are facing a better marketplace than they were a few weeks ago.
USDA is reporting that current pricing is $10-$12 per flat. A $12 market
is a sustainable price for growers in California. Prices below that do
not allow for growers to make enough money to cover all of the costs of
their operation. The growers in California (especially in the south)
need the next few weeks to be good or there could be another round of
acreage removal next year.