Cold storage inventory of strawberry at the end of 2019 shows smaller volumes than any of the previous ten years. Field pricing could be affected by this shortage as we move closer to the freezer grade season.
California acreage of fall planted strawberries is up this year over last year. The crop timing appears to be behind where it was at this same time last year.
Processing grade strawberry volume is lower to date than it has been for many years. Field pricing has moved up a little recently as a result of the shortage. Volumes could remain light for the rest of the month of June.
Freezer inventory of strawberry reported by USDA is still at low volumes versus the five year average. Little change to these numbers will happen in April. It could be the middle of May before the season gets going with larger volumes.
California strawberry production is steady, but not excessive right now. The fresh market is much lower presently, and growers will need to decide in the next week about staying in the fresh market or switching to processing.