Santa Maria Update
We are continuing to transition to our fall crop season here while keeping up with demand. This is definitely a balancing act as we assess the shift to new crop, maintain current crop fields that are still producing, while ensuring we keep our labor force.
We are really happy with what see here every day with all three planted varieties. In addition to Monterey and Portola, we have a newer variety planted called Selma that is very promising with great size, firmness and flavor.
Overall, volume each week is still tight and may remain so for the next couple of weeks as we finalize the transition and begin to see daily numbers pick up on new ranches, so stay tuned.
The new plants look great and we are on track to begin harvesting in mid to late September. As you can see from these photos we are trimming off early fruit to ensure we stay on the growth track and keep everything healthy, and in comparison to our last report, the plants have really grown. We will keep you informed as we see the fruit coming on.
Year to date strawberry volume for the state is still well ahead of last year at 164 million trays, compared to 149 million in 2021. Watsonville/Salinas shows the biggest jump in numbers with more than 10 million trays ahead of same time last year.
Weekly numbers throughout the state are expected to remain flat for the next couple of weeks as we see transitions occurring between current and fall crop acreage. Weekly volume is not that far off the two previous years, hovering a bit below six million trays/week.