A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) study concludes that strawberries remain the most popular berry in terms of their value and volume of production.
About 2.4 billion pounds of strawberries were produced in 2018-2020, an 87% increase from 1.29 billion pounds in 2000-2002. About 2 billion pounds, or 83% of strawberry production, are for the fresh market.
Most strawberry exports from the U.S. are destined for fresh-market consumption and shipped to Canada. Fresh strawberry exports increased 94% in volume during 2018-2020 compared with 2000-2020.
The development and adoption of high-yielding varieties led to an increase in total domestic production with less acreage. Between 2000 and 2020, about 90% of fresh strawberries were produced in California. Florida, the second leading state, grew about 9%. Florida’s season usually occurs between December and March.
Acreage in Florida and California has dropped since 2017, though both are maintaining volume. Florida’s acreage reached a record high of 10,900 acres in 2015 but dropped to 9,900 in 2020.
The majority of Florida’s strawberry production is concentrated around Plant City. Florida production averaged 240 million pounds in 2018-2020, compared to about 190 million pounds from 2000-2002.
Organic strawberry production is increasing at a faster pace than conventional production.
Fresh strawberry imports increased significantly over the past 20 years, especially from Mexico. Fresh strawberries imported from Mexico reach a record high of 431 million pounds in 2020. Approximately 85% of Mexican strawberry imports entered the U.S. market during the winter and spring months.