It has been a slow start due to rainy weather earlier this year, but California strawberry shipments are gradually returning to normal volume this spring.
California strawberry loadings had amounted to about 27.7 million trays on April 20th, compared to about 29 million trays last year.
On a weekly basis, volume for the week ending April 20th was around 7 million trays, up from about 5.6 million trays for the same week in 2018.
Shipments had picked up leading up Mother’s Day May 12th and with the May 27th Memorial Day.
Ventura County strawberries are pretty much finished, but Santa Maria is picking up the slack with the Salinas/Watsonville not far behind.
Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville wrapped up its Oxnard season the first week of May and now is focusing on Santa Maria and Watsonville.
Santa Maria and Watsonville both started late due to consistently rainy weather, although the precipitation was welcomed even though it pushed back the season a little.
In mid-April, Watsonville and Santa Maria were running about two to three weeks behind their normal shipping schedules, although strong volume is expected through June.
Naturipe Berry Growers Salinas has been in full shipping mode from Santa Maria since early May. Volume has gradually been increasing since then at their Salinas/Watsonville operations.
This season is pretty much back to normal following a dry year in 2018.
California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville in now hitting peak shipments out of Santa Maria, with the second round of harvesting now underway in Watsonville where loadings are ramping up.
Santa Maria strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7100 to New York City.