Losses from flooding along the Pajaro and Salinas rivers will likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars, while thousands of people have been displaced. The California Strawberry Commission sees a challenging future ahead for the communities and growers.
Farmers were weeks away from harvest and had borrowed money to prepare the fields for it. According to the commission, the surviving strawberry operations will be vital to jobs and the local economy. For every dollar invested in them, 97 cents goes back to the community. Despite the setback, the commission projects that shipments from Oxnard and Santa Maria will be higher this year due to a high demand.
Commission President Rick Tomlinson promised the farming families and communities will work together to recover.