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.
Low volumes of juice grade and freezer grade fruit to California strawberry processors have been occurring over the past few weeks.
Good fruit quality with heavier volumes are currently being harvested in the Oxnard district. Peak production should happen in the next few weeks.