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Rains affecting California strawberry crops

By
Craig Levitt, managing editor

Persistent rains in California last week created a limited supply of various crops out west. According to Markon Cooperative reports, there will be little if any harvesting of strawberries from Oxnard and Santa Maria until the week of Jan. 10. Growers are transferring Mexican-grown fruit to supplement their California shipments through January, though transfers were limited last week as a result of Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day holiday closures.

“We expect Oxnard to ramp up next week,” said Henry Dill, purchasing director at Markon. “There is a bit more harvest this week, but it is still very limited. It should be in really good shape out of Oxnard the week of Jan. 17 as long as the weather cooperates.”

According to Markon, central Mexico (loading in south Texas) production continues to ramp up, demand is very strong and quality is good. Florida volume is increasing and will continue rising into January with excellent quality.

Prices fell slightly through December and now sit just below $20 per flat of eight one-pound containers for conventional strawberries from all production regions. According to USDA, prices were about $4 lower per flat at the same time last year.

California citrus supplies are also limited due to steady rains and Markon anticipates markets to continue climbing.

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