Strawberry demand remains strong, and California growers may not be able to keep up with it thanks to recent weather problems.
In an October 25 crop report, Markon Cooperative BB #:123315 said its inspectors predict lower-than-normal volume through November, which will keep prices high.
Markon gave a rundown by region:
The Santa Maria/Oxnard growing region currently produces roughly 80 percent of marketed strawberries in the U.S. Supplies are extremely limited and unable to meet demand through most of November. Quality is average; strawberries will see upwards of 25% bruising and 4% decay upon arrival. Maintaining the cold chain will be vital for shelf-life; Markon recommends ordering for quick turns.
The Salinas/Watsonville growing region currently produces roughly 10-15 percent of marketed strawberries in the U.S. Volume is extremely limited; quality is average at best. Production will be completed in the next 10-14 days.
Volume is very low as the season is just beginning. Currently less than 5 percent of strawberries marketed in the U.S. are grown in Mexico and shipped from South Texas. Volume is expected to gradually increase over the next two to three weeks. Quality is good; green shoulders and small sizing have been reported.
Production will begin after Thanksgiving in a very limited manner. Orders are estimated to begin shipping the week of December 5.