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California Strawberry April 8, 2021

4/8/2021  By Dan Winiecke
California Strawberry April 8, 2021The strawberry crop in the state of California is developing more slowly than anticipated. Weather conditions from high wind to hail have caused trouble for growers in some areas this year. The condition of the crop at planting time in some fields is also having an affect on the crop. Poor chill hours from nursery stock plants have created problems for fruit set and development. The crop looks to be coming in much shorter than expected. There are areas in each district that are affected by this. The combination of all of this is keeping production numbers low, and the trend does not look to be changing anytime in the near future. Volumes of fruit going to the fresh market are expected to increase across the state over the next few weeks, but not at levels typically seen for this time of year. The result of this is helping to keep fresh market prices high. The price for fresh strawberries per tray is around $18 on the open market. The demand for fresh strawberries has been strong for most of the past year, and that trend looks to be continuing. Processing markets, which are in short supply currently, are not receiving the volume of fruit they would like to be receiving. Field pricing for processing strawberries is very high at the present time. This follows the trend that started in the summer last year. At this point in time it looks unlikely that there could be a large crop of strawberries in the state in 2021.