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Published April 05, 2010, 01:24 PM

Strawberry prices drop as late harvest hits market

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Strawberry lovers are having a good spring with unusually low prices for the fruit in many places.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Strawberry lovers are having a good spring with unusually low prices for the fruit in many places.

At Publix supermarkets on Florida’s Gulf Coast, shoppers can buy a pound of locally grown berries for $1.25. Prices elsewhere were a bit higher: $1.49 a pound at Sam’s Club in Fort Worth, Texas, and $1.66 at Meijer in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The low prices are because cold weather delayed Florida’s harvest to coincide with California’s, and the two states are flooding the market. Florida usually dominates the market in January and February, while California’s crop comes in in the spring.

Gloria Chillon of Driscoll’s — a major California strawberry producer — says a record number of strawberries for this time of year were picked last week — 80 million pounds nationwide.

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