Vancouver saw its second-coldest April and May on record this year, with an average daily high of 14.7°C -- almost a full two degrees lower than normal.
That combined with over 20 mm more rain than normal and just 72 per cent of the sunshine hours usually seen at this time of year means strawberry producers are seeing one of the latest starts ever to their growing season.
Alf Krause of Krause Berry Farms in Langley, B.C. said his crop has just begun to peak -- the latest start in over 35 years.
“We've had other years where they've started at this time, but things have changed too because we have earlier varieties,” he said. “If you compare when the varieties usually start, this is the latest ever.”
Krause said the weather has not co-operated long enough to allow him to complete a lot of his field work.
“It's been all about finding the day that's not raining, or cold, or wet,” he said. “It's been a very trying spring.”
On the plus side, the poor weather hasn't seemed to affect the quality of the crop. However, Krause said the season will likely be shorter as a result of the late start.
He's hoping for warmer, drier days ahead.
Strawberry season is underway across Canada, but was delayed almost across the board due to the unseasonably cool, wet spring.
Growers in southern Ontario were about a week behind opening their fields to the public.