California strawberry growers fill Florida gap - The Packer

California strawberry growers fill Florida gap

02/13/2014 10:30:00 AM
Tom Burfield

“The Florida situation has caused the price to be better than it has for the past five years,” said Craig Casca, CEO and director of sales for Red Blossom Sales Inc., Salinas, Calif.

“The market has been awesome,” he said. “Also, the normal Christmas/New Year’s Eve week glut was not a factor because Florida had nothing this year during that time period.” 

But the spike in business for Southern California growers appeared to be ending by the first week of February.

“We just had a beautiful weekend with 80-degree weather,” Ted Campbell, executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Dover, said Feb. 3.

He said he expects the good weather to continue.

“I think the worst has certainly passed us — from a calendar standpoint,” he said. “February and March are usually pretty good here.”

As of early February, Florida’s strawberry production was down about 40%, Campbell said, and he estimated that the season would end up with a 20% to 30% drop compared with last year — “unless we have gangbuster production.”

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