News and Stories

UPDATE: Strawberries

April 27, 2016


Markon First Crop (MFC) Strawberries are available; Markon Best Available (MBA) and packer label supplies are being substituted as needed. This week marks the first of two high-volume loading weeks for Mother’s Day supplies; more strawberries are consumed for Mother’s Day than any other time of the year. Demand exceeds supply in all areas. Yields are lower than anticipated due to cold temperatures, strong winds, and rain showers which continue to challenge growers. The Salinas/Watsonville growing region is forecast to receive more rain this afternoon Wednesday, April 27. Prices are elevated; stocks are expected to remain extremely tight through Mother’s Day.


Oxnard, California

  • MFC Strawberries are not available; MBA and packer label are being substituted as needed
  • The forecast calls for dry weather with highs warming into the upper 70s on Monday, May 2
  • Although weather is favorable, plants are stressed as they approach the end of their production cycle
  • Quality issues and shortened shelf-life are concerns
    • Overall quality is fair: some bleeding, bruising, decay, and soft texture are present
    • Some growers are selling fruit on the West Coast only due to quality concerns
    • Size ranges from small to medium with a wide variety in counts (22-34 berries per 1-pound clamshell)
  • Most growers will attempt to continue harvesting through Mother’s Day, pending quality and labor availability
  • Oxnard production will continue on a downward trend through the rest of the season (33% of all cases shipped on Monday, April 25 were harvested in Oxnard)
  • Prices are steady at high levels; demand exceeds supply 

Santa Maria, California

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • The forecast calls for dry conditions with highs in the 80s by Sunday, May 1
  • Yields are expected to gradually increase through next week, pending weather, but strong demand will keep supplies tight
  • Overall quality is good
    • Size ranges from medium to medium-plus
    • Counts average 16-24 berries per 1-pound clamshell
    • Minor problems include bruising, creasing, green tips, soft texture, and white shoulders 
  • Santa Maria remains the number one production region at this time (45% of all cases shipped on Monday, April 25 were harvested in Santa Maria)
  • Prices are high, but stable; demand exceeds supply

Salinas/Watsonville, California

  • MFC Strawberries are limited; MBA and packer label are being substituted as needed
  • Approximately 0.10” of rain is forecast for this afternoon, Wednesday, April 27
  • Weekly showers for the past several weeks are keeping supplies from reaching optimum levels
  • Weather-related issues will be a concern, pending total rainfall
    • Size ranges from medium-plus to large
    • Counts average 14-18 berries per 1-pound clamshell
    • Issues include bruising, creasing, green tips, soft texture, water damage, and wind damage
  • New crop plants are small; volume is low compared to Oxnard and Santa Maria (22% of all cases shipped on Monday, April 25 were harvested in Salinas/Watsonville)
  • The market is elevated, but steady; demand exceeds supply

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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