Spring strawberry production is down in the Oxnard area compared to last year, perhaps 1,800 acres or so.
“Last year was a bad season for everybody,” said John Krist, chief executive officer at the Ventura County Farm Bureau. “There was just too much fruit on the market at once and prices were very low. A lot of growers here and in the state had losses. Some dialed back and found something else to plant this year.”
Last fall growers had to do without the normal water release from Lake Piru. That cut available water by 50% during the crucial month of October, Krist said, when the acreage in production now was established. But it seems not to have had a big effect on the crop.
“We did a lot of staggering and some workshops so people could figure out better ways to manage their irrigation,” Krist said. “We were really fortunate then that we didn’t have a spell of hot windy weather, which is common in the fall. But no forecast I’ve seen suggests we’re going to have a wet year this year.”