(Jan. 29) As a result of near-optimum growing conditions last fall, Louisiana’s growers have been able to produce a strong early strawberry crop in spite of recent freezing temperatures, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported.

“Good quality, nice size and good taste” are in evidence as the crop comes on, Sandra Benjamin, a Louisiana State University county agent, told the newspaper.

Grower Anthony Liuzza said he has been shipping strawberries to stores for a couple of months.

“A combination of using row covers and using plug transplants has led to earlier production,” Regina Bracy, professor and research coordinator of the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station, said in the article.