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Westmoreland

Weather takes a toll on 2018 strawberry crop; shortages felt nationwide

Patrick Varine
| Friday, March 30, 2018, 5:00 p.m.
A shortage of quality strawberries is temporarily affecting the market.
File photo
A shortage of quality strawberries is temporarily affecting the market.
Above, a sign posted at the Rostraver Shop'n Save on March 30, 2018.
Submitted photo
Above, a sign posted at the Rostraver Shop'n Save on March 30, 2018.

Red, ripe, juicy strawberries may be tough to come by for a short time, as unfavorable weather in several strawberry-growing regions has stunted crops.

Earlier this week, KCRG-TV in Iowa reported that the HyVee chain of grocery stores was notifying customers of a temporary shortage of strawberries.

“Driscoll's is a main supplier of strawberries nationwide and experiencing a shortage. HyVee says the company told them cold and rainy weather in Mexico and freezes in Southern California have hurt Driscoll's supply,” KCRG staff reported.

A similar notification was posted late this week at Shop'n Save in Rostraver.

“Extreme weather conditions in California growing areas have devastated the strawberry crop,” the Shop'n Save sign reads. “High winds and heavy rain have all but eliminated the availability of good quality fruit.”

According to a weekly market review published by the Produce Alliance, the U.S. strawberry market is seeing “very poor quality, higher prices and shortages in supply.”

Positive reports from groups that monitor California's strawberry industry, like The Packer, indicate that the shortage is not likely to last .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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