The recent cold snap could cause the strawberry crop to be pushed back a couple of weeks. There are nine to 12 commercial growers in Tangipahoa Parish. Whitney Wallace from the LSU Ag Center says those farmers took extra precautions during the brutally cold weather and expects the crop should come through ok.
"They don't believe it's going to set them back too much. We're still going to look great for our peak season in March and April. They're thinking it's going to be just fine and we're going to have a great season."
With a decline in production and available strawberries, Wallace says there might be an increase in prices at the market, but any increase will be short lived. Many of the blossoms on the plants that weren’t protected will have to regrow again, which is a 21 day process. She says after that, prices will stabilize.
"Might see a little bit of an increase in price just due to the shortage for a couple of weeks. But that should all pan out over time barring we don't have cold weather."
Wallace says the big event of the year for Tangipahoa Parish will go on as usual. She says there should be plenty of warm weather between now and mid-April for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.
"Late arriving berries should be coming in that time. Hopefully we'll be through all the cold weather finished with by then and we'll have some wonderful big juicy red berries for the public to enjoy."