Strawberry production for 2007 is estimated at about 20 million cwt., reflecting an estimated 3 percent drop from last year. Yields were estimated by USDA at 580 cwt. per acre on an estimated 35,500 acres planted.

Despite a cold start that slowed the early strawberry crop, things were catching up, sources said. Most PCAs said the quality of the berries looks good and insect and disease pressures overall are light.

For the most part, strawberries appeared to be bouncing back from their slow start, said Salinas Valley PCA Efren Calaya. Plants rebounded well after growers laid off the nitrogen to avoid excess vegetative growth.

Calaya said there were few major diseases pressures in strawberries, with only slight powdery mildew and botrytis gray mold coming in with the dewy mornings.