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California strawberry industry could see $200 million in losses due to storm damage

CALIFORNIA (KSBW) -- The California strawberry industry may see millions of dollars in losses from storm damage.

According to the California Strawberry Commission, due to the onslaught of rain, wind and flooding, 1,840 acres of strawberry crops are facing losses that could reach $200 million from crop, property, and equipment damage.

The farms at risk for these losses include:

537 acres around the Pajaro River in Santa Cruz and North Monterey County. 467 acres on the Salinas River in Monterey County. 500 acres around the Santa Maria River in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties 300 acres in Ventura County Recommended Water issues and road damages continue in Boulder Creek. Storm repairs in Boulder Creek are off to a slow start The damage estimates are preliminary, and farmers have been asked to report damage directly to each county.

Losses could be in the millions, but the California strawberry commission said most farmers experience minor storm damage to their actual properties.

"We were fortunate these storms came at a time when most farms are dormant and thus farm worker jobs have had minimum impact," said Rick Tomlinson, California Strawberry Commission [resident.

There are over 31,850 strawberry growers in the state and the strawberry commission says most welcomed the rain saying that it washes the oil and improves the plant health.

Tomlinson went on to say, "As soon as we get a few weeks of sun, the strawberry plants should recover in time to start harvest in the spring. With improved soil healthy from the rains, we should have a good season."

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