Check Up On Cherries

Check Up On Cherries

Check Up On Cherries. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Cherries are beginning to come off the trees from Oregon through the Yakima Valley. Of course since ripe cherries are susceptible to splitting due to rain most producers are keeping one eye on the forecast. Megan Thompson with Oregon Cherry Growers says so far, so good.

THOMPSON: Knock on wood we had a little bit of just literally thundershowers last night and that's all we've had for rain. So it was just a "dust settler" as I call them. A lot of wind and very little moisture.

She talks about what varieties are coming off the trees.

THOMPSON: We started a little bit of Chelan last week and then we're back picking a little bit more Chelan today and we'll sort of ramp up as the week goes through. We are picking some processing fruit along side with that just starting to get into picking. Mainly waiting on pickers. I think that's one thing that's holding us up a little bit - is lack of labor.

California is still picking and school is not out yet so labor will be tight over the next couple of weeks. She says this will be a smaller crop than last year.

THOMPSON: We had a November freeze. I think Washington saw some but we were about 10+ degrees colder dude to snow on the ground and so we've got some blocks, certain varieties that have severe damage to the point of almost killing trees. On our front end, our Chelan's and Bing's look to be a pretty nice crop and then as we go through we've got quite a lot of damage on Lapin's, Regina, Sweetheart in the middle and actually our later crop looks pretty good. So it's going to be a lot more optimistic, we're probably 60 to 70% of a crop now.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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