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      Strawberries making an early exit this season

      The Fourth of July holiday usually means an opening celebration at the Pellegrini Strawberry Farm in Vulcan, MI. However, this time around, it's more of a closing ceremony.

      "We're nervous, because a lot of our customers know to come right after the Fourth of July. I think a lot of them don't know yet that the berries are done," said Lisa Pellegrini, co-owner of the farm.

      Their season started mid-June this year, three weeks earlier than normal, and they're not alone. Most of the U.P. farms have already called it quits for the season.

      We asked on Facebook where some of your favorite picking spots are. Facebook fan Karen Johnson writes, "A1 farms in Nisula, Michigan have the best berries. Haven't been able to pick berries this year."

      So what's causing the early shutdown? Some say above normal temperatures have made it difficult for strawberries to gain momentum.

      "With the extreme heat that we had this summer, it kind of took the strawberries very quickly," said Jake Franczek, an employee at the farm.

      "They ripened up before they could get any size with them so they went very quickly this year."

      Some pickers are noticing, too. "They're a good size, but they're smaller ones, too. The plants look like they could use some water," said strawberry picker Mary Ann Cabot.

      Still, employees at Pellegrini say they've got them, and others simply don't.

      "It's been difficult this year, yes, but the berries are still plentiful enough. We've been able to fill the flats," Franczek said.

      For a detailed list of strawberry farms in the U.P. click here.