Strawberry representatives in Florida are reporting the strawberry harvest for this season is the finest the state has seen in a long time. So far, the berries have been healthy and tasty, and customers are happy. Florida’s agricultural industry is also happy after greening took its toll on the citrus profits this past year.
No one is getting too excited yet. Several issues can cause problems for strawberry growers. Strong rains can bruise the skin of a strawberry, excess rain can cause mold, and warmer weather impedes sugar production in the berry.
The strawberry season which started in November continues until March. As of yet, everything is going smoothly for the strawberry business in Florida. There has been high demand, good weather, good crop quality, and good prices.
Strawberry acreage has remained constant in the last few years, and this could be because of problems with recent harvests. In the last couple of strawberry seasons, diseases from other states have caused problems for local strawberry growers. Some had to rip out entire fields and replant again. So far, the diseases have not shown up yet in the current harvest. The only potential concern has been morning fog which can lead to moldy conditions.
In the past, cheap and early shipments of strawberries from Mexico caused major problems for Florida strawberry growers. However, this year California and Mexico are having a poor harvest. Both places have seen excess rainfall and chilly temperatures which has produced a small production and little competition for Florida growers.