NW Cherry Update Pt 2

NW Cherry Update Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. As final cherries come off the trees, growers here in the Pacific Northwest will be spending a lot of their off season reflecting on what lessons were learned in this year of drought and extreme temps.

Northwest Cherry Growers president, BJ Thurlby says we’ll spend this time looking for a lot of different answers …

THURLBY … “There’ll be a lot of talk over the winter, I think, but we’re seeing like the kind of older, standard root stock which we call Mazzard. Mazzard trees seem to fare better in the heat. And the newer, more high-density based rootstock, they’re called Gisela.”

Thurlby says while the damage was substantial, varied by location and variety …

THURLBY … “Certain trees actually perform better in the heat than other trees. And growers who had high-density and Gisela fruit found that the outsides of their orchards were, you know, were challenged. The tops of the orchards, they lost fruit, you know, real weird summer in terms of weather obviously. We’ve never seen anything like it.”

And that, Thurlby says is the reason we’ll be learning from this for years to come…

THURLBY … “Historically, when we have large heat issues, the next year it can create little issues like doubling in cherries and things like that. So, we’re hoping that it was early enough, because we’ve never seen heat like that in June, that the trees will have all summer to kind of come back and hopefully be ready and viable to produce normal amounts of fruit next year.”

Thurlby says there’s going to be lots of talk on heat this winter, that and labor will be our number one and two themes.

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