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Strawberry farmers seeing rougher-than-usual growing season

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INDEPENDENCE - Elizabeth Liuzza comes from a large strawberry-growing family in the Independence area.

"We had some rain last week, and strawberries are like sponges, they just soak up the water," Liuzza said.

But this year's weather has been less than kind.

"This season has been rough. We've had a lot of freezes, freezing rain. All of that has slowed the crop tremendously."

They package the berries grown here and ship them out to the market. But lately, that price has not been too good.

"This time of the year, the market usually drops quite a bit," Liuzza said.

Liuzza says the freezes earlier this year have affected prices, but the weather is not the farm's only problem. Local growers are also concerned about strawberry farmers from out of state who are harvesting their cops at this time.

"A lot of the berries will come from California and Florida, and they have more berries," Liuzza said.

But the season for out-of-state berry farmers ends before Louisiana, and that's when local producers are expecting to rebound with better prices at the market.

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