Cooler temperatures this winter have slowed the growth of Florida’s strawberry crop. But the quality of the berries the state has produced since Thanksgiving remains top-notch.
“With all of this nice cool weather, we’ve had fantastic quality. The flavor has been really good. The size of the fruit has been really good. The firmness of the fruit has been really good. The fruit that we’ve produced has been great quality,” said Vance Whitaker, strawberry breeder at the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
Whitaker said the combination of the hot November temperatures and subsequent cooler temperatures in December and January have slowed the crop’s emergence and ripening of the fruit as well.
He predicts that volume will increase substantially, however, over the next two weeks leading in Valentine’s Day.