Freeze Affecting Florida Strawberry Crop

Nightly freezes have been causing trouble for Florida’s winter strawberry growers for the past few days.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nightly freezes have been causing trouble for Florida’s winter strawberry growers for the past few days.

Most growers have been able to save their current crops with a combination of overnight irrigation, frost cloths and constant oversight, but Florida’s longest streak of consecutive nightly freezes since 2001 has been taking a toll on growers, according to several published reports.

Ongoing efforts to protect the fruit have increased labor costs and disrupted harvests, and despite those efforts, the cold may still cut harvest yields for the remainder of the season.

Conditions have caused demand for the winter berries to exceed supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Average prices reported for flats of eight one-pound clamshells were up $2 to $4 higher than their Dec. 29 price of $18.90.

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