Soft Fruit Looks Ahead

Soft Fruit Looks Ahead

Soft Fruit Looks Ahead. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

2015 was not a bad year for soft fruit. Not a record breaker but not a disaster by any means. Now that the fruit is in the shed it's time to look ahead to what may be some of the issues for 2016. BJ Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission says one issue from this year is still not resolved and that's the port issue.

THURLBY: For the most part, it's not solved as we speak today but for the most part it was solved before the cherry season even got going. We saw a normal flow for cherries through the ports but at the same time 90% of the cherries are actually flown unlike apples and peaches and pears and nectarines usually put on a boat and so it was the loading of the boats that was slowing down our apple industry last year and still a little behind schedule.

Fortunately most of the stone fruit season averted the problems. The other issue that fruit growers are keeping an eye on is the Trans Pacific Partnership.

THURLBY: It's certainly something that I think the growers would get a win from but at the same time it's a lot of the southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam. We've got some South American countries of interest Brazil, Chile, Australia is a Southern Hemisphere producer so it's kind of a neat thing and we hope it goes through. Certainly a free trade agreement doesn't put us at risk for fruit coming in here to hurt us and it's something we think would be positive for our growers.

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

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