The California Strawberry Commission website has been retooled to provide a better experience for those looking for up-to-date growing information. “We’re pretty excited about it, we relaunched our CalStrawberry.com, which is a resource for strawberry growers, or for anyone who wants to learn about strawberry growing and production,” said California Strawberry Commission Communications Director Carolyn O’Donnell.
Some of the major improvements to the website include a better means to access timely information relative to berry growers and enhanced web dashboards. O’Donnell noted that their dashboards with market data, which features information collected by USDA, appear to be the most popular. “We now have live, real-time updated, interactive reports that are daily price-and-volume, the national berry report, as well as the volume pink sheet,” O’Donnell stated.
The purpose of the California Strawberry Commission website overhaul was to provide a more efficient means to produce the particular information a user may be looking for. The idea behind the market data dashboards grew from an existing system of publishing select reports from the information provided by USDA. The commission decided that the best method for distributing current data was to “put those numbers up as we get them and let people set what whatever reports they want to set within whatever parameters, organic or conventional, or both, or just for southern California, or for a certain time period,” said O’Donnell.
The commission is also working on other advancements to benefit the industry, having held an automation summit at Cal Poly earlier in the year. The rising cost and decrease in the amount of available labor caused the commission to place a high priority on mechanical harvesting technology a few years ago. “While we think it’s still several years out before we actually see machines that are doing a good job of mechanical harvesting, there’s definitely advances being made,” O’Donnell said.
Listen to the interview below.