High Water Could Mean Higher Strawberry Prices
Louisiana strawberries, I don't think there is a tastier treat than a fresh juicy Louisiana strawberry. I love biting into the bright red fruit and feeling my mouth filled with that sweet juice.
It's almost a spiritual thing for a strawberry lover like me. What I've enjoyed most about home grown strawberries up until recently is just how inexpensive they have been for enthusiast such as myself.
The floods of August might be putting a bigger dent in my pocketbook in the form of higher prices for one of state's signature crops. Heather Robinson and her husband John own the Johndales Farm in Ponchatula. She lamented to the Louisiana Radio Network that while many farmers and ranchers across the state will be receiving government assistance form the flooding. Most specialty crop growers, such as strawberry producers, will not be seeing those extra aid dollars.
You’ve really got to love doing it, especially when you flood in March and you lose your crop and then this is even more work on top of that, and it’s hard. It’s hard to be a strawberry farmer.
Flooding has already taken a large portion of this years crop and the recent high water is making it difficult to prepare the fields for planting season. If you're not familiar with how strawberries grow, that planting season is beginning now and over the next few weeks.
It’s just day after day after day out there disking everything, going over it, trying to get everything mixed together and get your rows made. We’ve got to get our plastic down. We just have a lot to do.
Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain said that Tangipahoa Parish, the state's leading strawberry producing parish, has had to deal with both flood events of 2016. That has made the economic impact on producers and consumers even larger.
It’s hard to get in the fields when they’ve been so inundated with water. They’re wet, wet, wet. So you kind of have to let your fields dry out, and then in between that we’re getting these evening showers almost every day.
While this years strawberry crop may be a wash, literally. The good news is that most of our state's strawberry farmers are going to stay the course and will persevere to keep strawberry junkies like you and I satiated with the goodness of our favorite Louisiana treat.