California strawberry growers are expected to plant nearly 4 percent more acres in 2009 than they did in 2008, according to a report from the California Strawberry Commission.


Altogether, the commission expects growers to plant 37,914 acres, or 3.8 percent more than in 2008. The increases are expected in fall-planted and summer-planted acreage but not organic.

Fall-planted acres, which begin producing fruit during the traditional winter, spring and summer seasons, are expected to increase by 1,106 acres, or 3.55 percent, compared with 2008.

The largest gains should be seen in the Santa Maria and Watsonville-Salinas districts, which expect increases of 442 and 424 acres, respectively.

Summer-planted acreage for fall production is expected to increase by 5.4 percent, or 289 acres, according to the Watsonville, Calif.-based commission. Most of the projected summer-planted acreage is in Oxnard and Santa Maria.

Total organic acreage is expected to be 1,765 acres, a decrease of 78 acres compared with 2008.

The organic acreage represents 4.6 percent of California's total strawberry acreage compared with 5 percent in 2008.

Fall-planted organic acreage statewide decreased by 118 acres. The largest decrease, 96 acres, was seen in the Watsonville/Salinas district. Santa Maria also saw decreases of 56 acres.

Projected summer planted organic acreage increased by 40 acres or 16.8 percent, compared with 2008.

Proprietary varieties are expected to be planted on 37.9 percent of the state's acres, followed closely by the Albion variety, with 36.3 percent of the acres. Ventana is expected to account for about 11 percent of planted acres.

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