For the past month, Louisiana strawberry growers have been producing a nice crop, and as long as the weather is cool berries should continue to be available, according to Regina Bracy, resident coordinator of the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station.

“Some of the growers here in the Hammond area have been picking some really nice berries,” Bracy said.

The problem growers have run into lately is some gray mold that tends to increase during warm, damp weather.

Sandra Benjamin, LSU AgCenter county agent in Tangipahoa Parish, said growers are selling at local fruit stands and farmers markets while the weather is favorable. “Due to the rain and cold, some of the farmers began covering their strawberry fields.”

The covers help protect the berries from the rain and keep the plants 4 to 6 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.

If the weather stays cool, the berries will come in a little slower, but growers should have less disease problems.

“As long as the temperature doesn’t drop too low, growers should have a good crop with nice-size berries and good healthy plants,” Bracy said.