In Florida, acres of delicious strawberries are starting to ripen, and… being left to rot and plowed under. Thanks to cold weather at just the right point of the winter growing season, berry crops are so bountiful that it’s more cost-efficient to let the berries rot than it is to pay anyone to pick them.
Decades ago, during this time of year, farmers would turn their fields over for U-pick to finish up the season. But liability and a preference for planting a spring crop has caused that tradition to dwindle to just a few local farms.
Now, farmers just let the berries rot on the plants. It might seem wasteful, but they explain that if they pick for such low profits, they’ll lose money. They can’t afford to do that — especially after such a bad season.
The current (wholesale) price of a flat of strawberries is $5.90-$6.90, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if you’re wondering. One can only hope this will lead to a dramatic fall in jam prices.
As prices fall, strawberry farmers plow crops under [St. Petersburg Times] (via Fark)