Strawberry growers worried about big harvest

TAMARA LUSH Associated Press Published:

PLANT CITY, Fla. (AP) -- At the Florida Strawberry Festival, there are shortcake eating contests, a berry queen and a strawberry production exhibit.

It's one of Florida's largest regional festivals, and folks come from all over for food and fun at the beginning of March. But behind the scenes, the strawberry farmers are bemoaning the fact that this year's harvest is larger than expected -- and turning a profit will be difficult.

A warm winter in the Sunshine State has yielded a bumper crop of berries. Ted Campbell of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association says 2012 will be a tough year for farmers because stores are setting prices low.

But farmers say berry lovers will get a great deal on lots of tasty fruit. Outside of the Strawberry Festival, roadside stands were selling six pounds of berries for $4.99.