California strawberry shippers had shipped 121.8 million trays of the fruit by mid July, up from 112.2 million trays last year at the same time, but down from the 128 million trays shipped in 2018, according to the California Strawberry Commission.
Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville, CA reports the season peaked around July 1, although plenty of berries remain.
Strawberry shipments were strong in part due to a shorter-than-usual early-season crops of some other summer fruits such as watermelons and cherries. Since then increased volume from watermelons and cherries as well as other summer fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines and grapes, strawberry are providing more competition.
Watsonville-Salinas strawberry loadings are seasonally declining and Well-Pict will pick up its new fall strawberry crop out of Oxnard from mid-September through mid-November.
Bobalu Berries of Oxnard is gearing up to kick off its fall crop from Santa Maria. The grower-shipper loads out of an area that is actually north of the main Santa Maria growing region in a coastal location similar to Salinas.
Picking should start this week and continue until early November.
Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing about $5700 to Chicago.