“Our forecast models predict the industry to have record production by the first week of March,” Wishnatzki said in late February.
“This will be the most berries per-week the industry has ever seen. It’s unusual to peak that early. It may continue to build through the month.”
Aside from the expected production boom, Wishnatzki called the berry season, which begins in late November and finishes by mid-April, strong. He said production exceeded expectations and that a warmer-than-usual growing season helped berry growth and quality.
Late season prices, however, weren’t strong. In late February, Wishnatzki quoted $8.95-10.95 for flats of eight 1-pound clamshells.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Feb. 28 f.o.b.s of $7.90-8.90 for flats of 8 1-pound clamshells medium large from central Florida.
At the same time last year, flats of 8 1-pound clamshells medium large sold for $10.90-12.90.
Driscoll’s Greeff characterized the season as strong.
“We have had a solid strawberry deal so far this year in Florida,” he said in late February.
“We’re banking on weather remaining fairly consistent over the next six weeks and not getting excessively hot. This is definitely one of the better seasons we have had in a number of years.”