Combined 3-State Strawberry Production Down Slightly in 2012

This month, NASS released this year’s forecast estimates for strawberry area, yield, and production in California, Florida, and Oregon—the top 3 strawberry-producing States. Combined area harvested and average yield per acre in these top three States are forecast down this year, suggesting lower overall U.S. strawberry production in 2012. The 3-State total production is forecast at 2.77 billion pounds, down 3 percent from a year ago, with harvested area down 1 percent to 49,300 acres and yields averaging 2 percent lower at 56,100 pounds.

Of the 3-State total, California will account for 92 percent total volume in 2012. Production in California is forecast at 2.55 billion pounds, down 1 percent from a year ago. This smaller crop reflects 500 fewer acres to be harvested this year (from 38,000 acres in 2011) as average yields per acre remained constant from last year’s 680 hundredweight (or 68,000 pounds as 1 cwt =100 pounds).

Florida’s winter strawberry crop was forecast down 20 percent from a year ago, totaling 247.5 million pounds. Although harvested area increased by 2 percent to 10,100 acres, weather-related losses reduced yields by 21 percent to 19,700 pounds per acre. While production share is small relative to California and Florida, Oregon’s crop is forecast to decline the most, totaling 22.6 million pounds, down 21 percent from last year. Along with a 15-percent decline in area harvested, yields are also reported down 9 percent.

**Source: ERS/USDA