Cherry Outlook Pt 1

Cherry Outlook Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Cherry harvest has begun and growers are keeping this year's crop expectations in perspective following last year's record crop.

Northwest Cherry Growers president BJ Thurlby says they set a pretty high bar last season ...

THURLBY ... "We had a big crop last year and we ended up packing about 26.5-million 20-pound boxes. You know, and it probably could have been 28-29, who knows, there were some issues with heat over here. We didn't get a cool day from the middle of June all the way through the end of the summer, so it was a big crop."

So, Thurlby says they're trying to keep expectations for this year's crop at a realistic level ...

THURLBY ... "Now, this year's crop did not set as heavy, but there are some orchards that are certainly set up really well. We're estimating this crop, this year, at 23-million boxes and that's 23-million 20-pound box equivalent so that's a lot of fruit. That's enough cherries to spread over the face of the planet. We'll ship to probably 40 countries this year."

Thurlby says with the different cherry varieties and growing regions in the Northwest these days, harvest will go from now and is stretched out over the length of the summer ...

THURLBY ... "Harvest in cherries now goes three months so we're expecting a 90-day season this year. So, we'll kick off the first harvest that's going to start in the earliest orchards, which are down around Tri-Cities, Washington. And, we'll see, go from Tri-Cities, through the Yakima Valley, up to Wenatchee, and then just keep heading towards Canada."

Thurlby says, barring any unforeseen weather problems, they expect a very productive and delicious crop this summer.

Listen tomorrow for more on this year's cherry harvest.

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