California, which produces 80 percent of the nation’s fresh strawberry shipments, is coming off another strong season of strawberry production, on par with the past three years.
According to the California Strawberry Commission, the state shipped 189.7 million crates of fresh strawberries through Dec. 19, 2015. By comparison, California shipped 194.3 million crates of fresh strawberries in 2013 and 191.3 million in 2014.
Of all California strawberries produced each year, roughly 75 percent are harvested for the fresh market. California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries. In 2014, more than 2.3 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested, or 88 percent of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberries. California’s unique coastal environment with its western ocean exposure provides moderate temperatures year round, as warm sunny days and cool foggy nights are the perfect combination for growing strawberries.
Watsonville and Salinas account for almost half of the state's strawberry acreage. Shipments from northern areas begin in April, peak in May or June, and continue through November.