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Good movement on larger California strawberry crop

There is a plentiful supply of strawberries from California right now. "The quality of strawberries is excellent and the weather is also excellent. There are a lot of strawberries which is not unusual for this time of year," says John Wilkinson of Blazer Wilkinson Gee, LLC. "There have generally been mild temperatures which are really good growing conditions for strawberries."

California's strawberries right now are coming from Santa Maria or Salinas-Watsonville. Production will stay in these areas until November. Meanwhile, in early October, production will also start in Oxnard, California.

As for the demand for strawberries, it's very good–even with the heavy volume at the moment. "Nevertheless, that makes the market not very good. Year to date, which includes strawberries from Florida, Baja, Oxnard, and our current regions, pricing is on average $2 less a box than it was last year," says Wilkinson, adding that almost every major retailer is promoting strawberries. "However, everybody is selling and the product is moving okay."

Economic impact on production
The economy continues to impact the production of strawberries. "The cost of production has gone up between 5-15 percent a year for the last four years and inflation is impacting things. The consumer just doesn't have the buying power that they had. That's what's hurting agriculture as much as anything else," Wilkinson says.

With the July 4th holiday ahead in the coming weeks, a big holiday for berries, that promotability will likely continue.

Looking ahead, volume typically begins to drop off somewhat in Santa Maria and Salinas-Watsonville starting in about the middle of July. "If that's the case this year, all good growers and shippers will get the market up a little bit for sure then," says Wilkinson.

For more information:
John Wilkinson
Kiana Amaral
Blazer Wilkinson Gee, LLC
Tel: +1 (800) 676-1577