A harvesting crew picks strawberries off Struve Road near
Zmudowski State Beach in Moss Landing Thursday.
At least six crews from local growers were harvesting berries along Highway 1 in north Monterey County. The popular fruit dethroned lettuce in 2010 as the top revenue-generating crop, according to the county Agriculture Commissioner office.
The California Strawberry Commission notes that total acreage for strawberries is up 5 percent in the Salinas and Pajaro valleys. A total of 15,382 acres of strawberries was grown locally in 2011. Across the state, strawberry acreage was up 2.8 percent to 38,373 acres over the previous year.
California, which grows strawberries year-round, is the nation's leading producer of the crop. Most of the state's strawberries are grown in Monterey County. Harvesting takes place from April to November.