2015 strawberry harvest off 11 percent in state

Ray Mueller
Now Media Group


Wisconsin's production of 3.4 million pounds of strawberries in 2015 was the lowest total in the state in more than 10 years, according to a report by the state's field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The number of harvested acres was down by 20 in 2015 to a total of 610 and the average yield of 55 hundredweight (cwt) was down by 5 from 2014, resulting in a production of 34,000 cwt compared to 38,000 cwt a year earlier. The price growers received per cwt was up by an average of $5 to $170, putting the value of the state's crop at $5.78 million compared to $6.27 million in 2014.

Despite the drought in the state's agricultural areas, California accounted for just over 90 percent of the nation's strawberry production during 2015 with its total of 27.909 million cwt from 40,500 harvested acres. The state's average yield per acre was up by 25 cwt to 690 in 2015 and the number of harvested acres was down by only 1,000.

Florida stood in second place with production of 2.442 million cwt of strawberries from 10,900 harvested acres in 2015. Its average yield of 225 cwt per acre was up from 190 in 2014.

Other states and their cwt totals listed in the report were Oregon with 155,000 cwt, North Carolina with 143 cwt, Washington with 70 cwt, Pennsylvania with 34 cwt, New York with 29 cwt, Michigan with 28 cwt and Ohio with 23 cwt. The nation's production of 30.867 million cwt was an increase of 2 percent from 2014.

The value of the nation's strawberry production in 2015 was just over $2.219 billion, of which California's share was more than $1.855 billion. With California's average price of $66.50 per cwt in 2015 compared to $88.40 in 2014, the total value of the 2015 crop was down by 21 percent compared to 2014.