Strawberry Picking Time Soon

By: Colleen McPartlin
By: Colleen McPartlin

Finally, some good news about our weather. These warmer temperatures are having a good effect on our local strawberry crop, but farmers say it's still too early to get our hopes up.

Despite any freezing from the cold winter, this heat is helping local strawberry crops catch-up to where they should be, but if these storms keep hitting, there could still be bad news for this crop.

Typically the first strawberry pick of the year happens around the third week in June, depending on where the farm is located, and farmers say we look to be right on schedule. However, if hail comes, that could ruin everything.

Mike Metushak, a strawberry farmer in Wausau and Merrill, says, "You can have a really good crop coming then all of a sudden not get half of them picked off."

Metushak says a little rain helps because too much sun will result in the strawberries ripening too quickly, not giving the pickers enough time to get at them, but even though farmers would like to be cautious with the weather before the first pick, Metushak is still optimistic for this year's crop compared to last year.

He says, "I think the volume looks better, I think the quality's gonna be very good. We got a very fruit set, and we've had some good pollinating weather for the bees"

Metushak says he expects the first pick to be around the 18th to 20th of June; however, anything can change, and he says definitely call your local strawberry farm because the picking time is different for every area.