Featured Produce News

Strawberry Industry at a Glance

June 05, 2014

Strawberry Harvest Techniques, Statistics and Reports

A quick look at strawberry planting, harvesting and packing:



2013 Crop Year, Strawberry


$ 2.5 billion



3.00 billion lbs

(1,363,727 MT)

Domestic Consumption

3.03 billion lbs

(1,374,829 MT)


305 million lbs

(138,843 MT)


330 million lbs

(149,944 MT)

Bearing Acres



Data Source: NASS, USDA and FAS, USDA


Production in the U.S.

U.S. strawberry production is a $2.5 billion industry.  The U.S. is the number one producer of strawberries in the world. California, Florida, and Oregon are the nation’s primary growers, accounting for nearly 90% of the strawberries harvested in 2012. Over 70% of U.S. strawberries are grown in California with major areas of production coming from the Salinas Valley, Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo Counties, and Oxnard. Overall strawberry consumption and production have increased significantly in the past few years as total acreage of harvested strawberries grows.

U.S. Fresh Apple Trade

Click on Strawberry Acres Graph to Enlarge.
Prepared by FPP using data from FAS and NASS, USDA


2012/13 Major Players in Apple Market

Click on U.S. Strawberry Industy Graph to Enlarge.
Prepared by FPP using data from NASS, USDA



Most of U.S. strawberry exports go to Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Imports coming in to the U.S. market come primarily in March and April from Mexico, to keep up with market demand when domestic supply is low.

2012/13 Major Players in Apple Market

Click on U.S. Strawberry Trade Graph to Enlarge.
Prepared by FPP using data from NASS, USDA


Packaging and Transporting

Strawberry harvesting is done manually by hand and is best done in the morning when the fruit is still chilled. The fruit then needs to be immediately refrigerated before processing or packaging. Strawberries are highly perishable and must be stored at temperatures of 33 or 34 degrees F.  Refrigerated trucks maintain these temperatures as marketers work to ship strawberries to the markets within a week of picking, providing for a fresh product.


Planting Information

It is important when planting strawberries that the crown of the plant not be buried too far below the soil. Access to sunlight for the crown is essential to grow a healthy plant. Mulch must be placed around the strawberries as it helps to regulate soil temperature and keeps the fruit clean. Black plastic, straw, or dead leaves are good to use as mulch. Soil fumigation is a major part of pre-planting strawberry production as a means to control pathogens, nematodes, and weeds. Methyl bromide has been the most effective chemical in this soil preparation process; however, it has been banned due to its contribution to the breakdown of the ozone. Mercury News reported that current alternatives are falling short of meeting the need for adequate fumigation.


News Reports

The University of California released a report in 2011 outlining the costs of production for growing strawberry crops. The report helps growers to determine budgets, estimate returns, and provides insight into specific production decisions. The report is tailored to growers on the central coast and Santa Barbara regions.
Sample Costs to Produce Strawberries

The California Strawberry Commission provides health and safety information as well as growers’ tips and current research and survey data.

A renowned strawberry breeder retires from the University of California, Davis to start his own company for strawberry crop development because of intellectual property rights issues that could change the face of strawberry research in California.
Strawberry Expert at Center of Battle over Fruit’s Future


Global Agricultural Information Network Reports

The following countries’ GAIN reports concerning Strawberries have been released this year:

Canada – Current Canadian Agriculture News - Issue 2
Poland – Poland Pursues Becoming the Berry Supplier for Russia and the EU
Mexico – Berry Sector's Growth Has Important Consequences for the Campo

For more information please visit the following site: http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/



The Federal Register

Crop Profiles, Harvesting and Trade

Agency and Congressional Hearings

Congressional Legislation

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