Strawberry production is also recovering from the weather delays and damage this spring.
Santa Maria, Calif., grower Fidel Sandoval says that while his crop is late, pushing harvest into late August, overall color and quality have been good. Sandoval, ranch manager for Los Padres Berry Farms, says prices continued to climb after a slow post-Mother’s Day market in early June to $8 to $11 a flat by mid-July.
“Our yields overall are a little behind last year, but the plants and crop quality look better than last year for our return crop. And prices are starting to climb up so we might make it yet,” he says. “Normally, in mid-July we’re at about $5.50, so we are making up for some of the losses earlier when we were selling our berries for 8 cents a pound to make sodas.”
Overall, he says, disease pressures have been moderately light, considering the wet start.
“We had normal decay and mold, but only on the berries, not on the plants themselves,” Sandoval says.