The California rains that affected so many growers also affected CBS somewhat. “We lost some production due to the rains so our volume is a little behind last year’s numbers right now. The rain and some cooler temperatures pushed it back a little bit so we’re running a couple of weeks behind last year,” says Staka.
Good quality anticipated
That said, the strawberry plants look healthy. “The plants look good given all the rain and the berries are a good size and in good condition,” he says. “So moving forward, our next crop will have good quality.”
On top of that, demand is good too for California strawberries. “There are other districts out there such as Mexico and Florida where the temperatures have been getting pretty warm and their quality has suffered. And in California right now we have ideal weather,” Staka says. “That’s helped our situation to get more California strawberries on the shelves.” And to fill that demand, volume will increase from here on in with full production setting into the Oxnard area by the second week of April, by mid-May in Santa Maria and Watsonville by late June or early July.
Pricing meanwhile is also healthy right now. “Compared to a year ago, pricing is about the same on average,” says Staka. “We had a lot more highs and lows last year and this year it’s been fairly consistent.”
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