Oregon Strawberries. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
Even though the industry sector has declined from what it was decades ago, the Oregon strawberry has retained its iconic status, according to Laura Barton of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
BARTON: It kind of is the symbol of summer is coming. Everyone gets really excited when the fresh strawberries come into season because they are so delicious and they are colorful.
Production has stabilized at about 2-thousand acres planted and more than 21 million pounds harvested. Oregon strawberries have mostly gone into processing, but there’s a push for more fresh market berries to be grown.
BARTON: There are many, many stores– both large and small retail opportunities– where the buyers have said, we would buy what we could get our hands on, but we just can’t get any. There’s a demand out there, for sure.
Local growers can get a higher price for fresh berries, but there are challenges due to the fragile nature of the Oregon strawberry. The introduction of longer lasting varieties could help. In the meantime, consumers can always enjoy frozen Oregon strawberries or value-added products year around, but should also get ready to enjoy an early start this year on strawberries fresh out of the field.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.