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Storm affects strawberry fields


Fresh strawberries may be a little harder to find… and a bit more expensive for the next week or two or at least until we get some sunshine and warmer temperatures.
     Much of what should be headed for the market right now …. is  rotting in the fields because of recent rains 
     The rain has stopped, for now, but the damage is done.  Strawberry grower Peter Navarro estimates he has lost 85-percent of what was ripe after his fifty acre farm was hit with an inch and a half of rain last weekend.
     The furrows are filled with cracked and rotting berries which must be culled or cleaned to guard against the spread of mildew and rot to the the green and
still healthy fruit nearby.     
     Crews that should be picking healthy berries are busy culling the bad fruit.  There is still some pre-rain fruit in the supply chain  but when that’s gone, Navarro says fresh strawberries will be scarce for a week or two and prices will go up for a time.
     Right now is prime time for strawberries. Navarro says his fields can usually weather a little, short-lived rain but back to back to back storms like this past week is every berry farmer’s worst nightmare.
     Navarro says some of the damaged fruit can be salvaged and sent to the juice market but between the damage and the extra labor costs his bottom line wont be anything to write home about this year.  

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