NW Cherry Update Pt 1

NW Cherry Update Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Northwest cherry harvest is in its final stages with the last cherries just now coming off the trees.

But in spite of the heat and drought that have taken their toll, Northwest Cherry Growers president, BJ Thurlby says it’s not looking as bad as it once did …

THURLBY … “We’re rolling right up on 20-million boxes, so it’s ended up being a little bit bigger crop than we anticipated. Once we got through the heat, we were really thinking 18-million boxes at tops, but as it’s, you know, as it’s worked out the later cherries made it through the heat really well.”

But, Thurlby says the weather still did a number on us …

THURLBY … “We had really quite nice weather through the spring and then for the last two-and-a-half weeks of May it just cooled off and we were in the 60s every day. And then we kind of got going and we were three or four days later than we anticipated, and then by the third week of June we got that heat in and that was a game-changer. I mean we lost at least 25% of the crop this year.”

The damage, Thurlby says varied by region and variety …

THURLBY … “It was still ugly. I mean, it was a real challenging time for any grower that had fruit that was, you know, approaching or at maturity on the trees.”

So, Thurlby asks, what did we learn? …

THURLBY … “Lots of questions as to what does 115 degrees for three or four days do to those trees next year. You know, we’re already asking those questions and our scientific community is scrambling, kind of, to figure out what they think we’re going to see.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on what this year’s weather taught us about Northwest cherries.

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