Where are the berries? Recent California storms causing strawberry shortages in Arizona

Many people across the Phoenix area have noticed that baskets of berries are missing from grocery store shelves lately.

April Summers, who owns Summers Fruit Barn, said strawberries are usually plentiful, and very affordable this time of year, but not for 2023.

"We haven't been able to have sales on strawberries like we normally do," said April Summers, who owns Summers Fruit Barn.

This is due to a shortage that is expected to last several weeks. Many California growers are reporting they have had to throw away a portion of their strawberry crop because of damage from heavy rains.

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"There was a big period of time I didn't carry any," said April Summers, who owns Summers Fruit Barn. "I couldn't afford to buy the strawberries to sell because I'd have to mark them up so much."

More than 90% of strawberries sold in the U.S. are grown in California, and many farms were flooded from the barrage of back to back storms. As a result, the current crop is either bad or late, and that results in limited, or no supply, of strawberries on store shelves.

Besides strawberries, other popular summer berries are also affected.

"Now, it's blueberries, and everyone is saying the same thing: where's the blueberries? Customers saying we can't find blueberries, I say 'I know. I'm with you.' When I do find them, they're so outrageously high," said Summers.

Farmers expect strawberries to be in extremely low supply for the next couple of weeks, but they are hoping for a bumper crop to harvest in about a month.