Rain Continues to Cause Issues for California Strawberries

January 26, 2017

Markon First Crop (MFC) Strawberries are not available; Markon Best Available (MBA) and packer label are being substituted. Oxnard, California received 4.5” to 5.0” of rain this past weekend. West Coast availability is extremely limited. Growers are culling rain-damaged fruit; low temperatures are slowing ripening time. More rain is forecast for the Oxnard region Friday, February 3; expect extremely tight supplies through Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, February 14). Markon recommends loading Mexican strawberries in South Texas for best coverage and quality through Valentine’s Day.

Oxnard, California

  • MFC and MBA Strawberries are not available; packer label is being substituted due to rain
  • Approximately 4.5” to 5.0” of rain fell this past weekend
  • Volume is extremely low as growers cull rain-damaged fruit; cooler temperatures have increased ripening time
  • Quality issues include:
    • Bruising
    • Decay
    • Water damage
    • Wind scarring
    • White shoulders
  • Overall size ranges from medium-plus to large; counts average 15-18 berries per 1-pound clamshell
  • Prices are stable; expect very limited supplies out of this region through Valentine’s Day


  • Production is below-normal; cool weather and rain are tightening stocks
  • Overall quality is fairly good: bruising, occasional decay, and water damage are concerns
  • Sizing ranges from medium to medium-plus; counts average 18-22 berries per 1-pound clamshell
  • The market is slightly lower; expect adequate volume in time for Valentine’s Day

Mexico (loading in South Texas)

  • MBA Strawberries are available in 2/4-pound clamshells; packer label supplies in 8/1-pound clamshells are being substituted as needed
  • Stocks are tight due to strong demand in Texas; California and Florida supplies are tight
  • Overall quality is good
    • Texture is firm texture
    • Occasional problems include bruising, dark spots, and white shoulders
  • Overall size is medium; counts average 20-24 berries per 1-pound clamshell
  • Prices are level; expect adequate supplies out of Mexico for Valentine’s Day pull