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Long-term impact of California rains on strawberries unknown

The excessive rainfall and atmospheric rivers seem to have stopped in California, at least for the moment. They started in early December 2022 and continued until January 27, 2023. According to the Santa Maria CIMIS weather station, the Santa Maria area received a total of 12.39 inches (314.7 mm) of rain since December 1 of last year. The area is one of California’s key strawberry-growing regions.

Photo: Felix Zorita

“Production and harvest in the Santa Maria valley haven’t started as the October and November plantings don’t have any fruit yet,” says Felix Zorita with Driscoll’s. “As a result, no real production has been impacted right now.”

However, with the ground being so wet, plant production is expected to be slow and delayed in the short term. “Some of the beds the strawberries are grown in fell apart, limiting plant growth.” The mid-to-long-term impact is still unknown. “We can’t rule out some root diseases such as Phytophthora. Root diseases can further delay growth or even cause plant collapse.”

For more information:
Felix Zorita

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