News and Stories

UPDATE: Strawberries

October 01, 2015


Prices are climbing due to an increase in demand and tighter overall supplies. Quality issues persist following last week’s high temperatures. Expect the market to continue rising over the next several weeks while crops transition south for the winter months. 


Salinas/Watsonville, California

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Strawberries are not available; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted
  • Prices have increased; demand is strong
  • Salinas/Watsonville remains the primary growing region, but supplies are decreasing
  • Tighter stocks are being reported
    • Crews are culling fields for damaged berries
    • Fruit is being diverted to processing plants as quality is not meeting fresh market specifications
    • Growers are preparing fields for next season’s plantings
  • Abnormally high temperatures have limited the amount of quality fruit that’s available
    • Bruising, mildew, overripe berries, and soft texture are concerns
    • Plants are stressed as they approach the end of their production cycle
  • Berry size is below normal; average size is medium
    • Counts range from 24 to 28 berries per 1-pound clamshell
    • Stemmed strawberries are very limited
  • The season should run through October or until fall rains hit the Salinas/Watsonville region


Santa Maria, California

  • MFC Strawberries are sporadic; MBA is being substituted
  • Prices are rising; demand is strong
  • Supply levels are increasing, but remain lower than those in Salinas/Watsonville
  • Last week’s high temperatures have limited the quantity of quality fruit that’s available
    • Texture is moderate; berries are fairly firm
    • Bruising, inconsistent color and size, overripe fruit, odd-shape, sun burn, and white shoulders are problems
    • Berries are ripening quickly; crews are harvesting daily to stay ahead of damage
  • Size is inconsistent; berries range from small to medium
    • Counts range from 25 to 35 berries per 1-pound clamshell
    • Stemmed strawberries are very limited due to small size
  • Overall quality is similar to berries in Salinas/Watsonville


Oxnard, California

  • Some suppliers have begun harvesting new fall crop berries in limited quantities
  • Harvesting is sporadic; supplies are very limited
  • Adequate stocks are not expected until mid-October
  • Strong demand for new crop fruit is commanding higher prices
  • Oxnard’s main winter crop is expected to begin in late December/early January



  • Harvesting is forecast to start in mid-October
  • Supplies will initially cross into South Texas
  • Fruit will be shipped into California when domestic supplies fall short


As always, maintaining the cold chain is critical for maximizing shelf-life. Markon recommends ordering for quick turns.


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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