Northwest Cherry Challenges Pt 1

Northwest Cherry Challenges Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Like everyone else in the world this past year, including those in agriculture, Northwest cherry growers have seen their share of challenges, from COVID to a frosty spring and other weather-related issues.

Northwest Cherry Growers president BJ Thurlby says it’s not been easy …

THURLBY … “We’re about half way through bloom. We’ve got, what I consider to be a gorgeous bloom going, but we’ve had, in the last week, a lot of wind and wind doesn’t translate well to pollination because bees don’t like the wind any more than we do.”

And then, Thurlby says we’ve also had some pretty cold nights recently …

THURLBY … “Saturday night, here, got down into the mid-teens, you know, upper teens, 16-17 degrees. And, certain growing areas the trees aren’t far enough along to really have an impact, but the earlier fruit from Tri-Cities really all the way along the river up north as far as Brewster, probably lost some fruit this Saturday night.”

But, Thurlby says nobody is ready to throw in the towel at this point …

THURLBY … “I don’t think anybody’s thinking at this point that they probably won’t, you know, have a crop, but the crop they had is not the same crop that they had before Saturday night. So, it’s just going to be a challenge and, we call that Mother Nature’s Thinning Process that she’ll do from year to year, but I know there’s probably some growers out there that were looking at a good crop and now they aren’t, so that’s pretty much tragic.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on this year’s cherry outlook and another ominous threat that could potentially wipe out Northwest cherry orchards.

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