Rain pelts California strawberries

03/04/2014 11:04:00 AM
Mike Hornick

California strawberries suffered minor damage and harvest delays from storms that dropped about 4 inches of rain on Oxnard Feb. 26 through March 1.

No significant impact on supply is expected.

“It’s the normal pre-spring disruptions that they’re used to getting,” Cindy Jewell, director of marketing for Watsonville-based California Giant Berry Farms, said March 3. “They knew it was coming and picked ahead. Now they’ll strip the fruit off the plants and then probably have to wait a few days for it to dry out. They’ll be harvesting again by the end of the week.”

“We’re throwing away maybe 30%, but we’ll be back to normal probably by Thursday,” said Charlie Staka, director of sales for Watsonville-based CBS Farms. “It was a little more intense than we’re used to all at once, but we expect rain at this time of year.”

“We’re probably looking at about a week’s pushback and light picking,” said Jim Grabowski, merchandising manager at Watsonville-based Well-Pict Berries.

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