California fresh strawberry production has slowed in the past week. The current state of the fresh market has lower volumes and better pricing than a few weeks ago. The year to date volume from the south end of California is lower this season than in the past two years, but the north districts have had higher volume year to date.
The lower acreage in California this year is responsible for some of this. At this time it looks like there will be a large reduction of acreage in the south part of the state again next year. Initial nursery plant orders for planting in the fall are down considerably. The decrease in orders translates to a reduction of up 2,000 acres next year in the south end of the state. Baja Mexico could also see a substantial decrease in acreage. Water and labor issues, along with poor fresh market returns over the past few years, are forcing this to be so.