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Bob Larson Cherry Volume Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 14, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Too much of a good thing. That’s what some are saying about this year’s Washington cherry crop. Northwest Cherry Growers president, BJ Thurlby says it was the kind of year you dream of …

BJ THURLBY … “I mean, we just had a record crop and you have probably every tree over-set with fruit on it. And, we had a late start and then you have a lot of heat on that fruit and it just put a tremendous amount of pressure because cherries, unlike apples or pears, once they get that heat on them, basically the sugars stop building in them and they have a tendency to get soft. And, that’s made for a real challenging year because it puts a tremendous amount of pressure the industry to sell a lot of fruit in a really short period of time.”

Thurlby says when the season began, things were looking really good …

BJ THURLBY … “You know, we managed it really well up through the Fourth of July, but we didn’t start shipping until the 10th of June. So, the first twenty days went actually pretty well. We shipped 8-million boxes in that window. And then, as we hit the post Fourth of July, there was just a lot of fruit out there.”

And, Thurlby says the marketing side certainly did everything they could to promote this year’s crop …

BJ THURLBY … “You know, we had a record amount of advert … you know ads supported by retailers. Cherries were the number one item advertised in the United States and Canada for four weeks straight. You really can’t ask for much more than that.”

Thurlby says the long, hot summer turned out to be the biggest challenge. Listen tomorrow for more on this record cherry crop and how that’s not necessarily a good thing.

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