Cherry Analysis Pt 1

Cherry Analysis Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. 2021 was a year of challenges for agriculture, but weather was definitely among the most interesting.

BJ Thurlby, president of the NW Cherry Growers, says last year we had a La Nina weather pattern that usually means a mix of weather and really good fruit …

THURLBY … “That wasn’t what La Nina brought last year. She brought probably the hottest weather, not probably, I mean it was weather we’ve ever seen in our cherry growing districts really from Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, nobody avoided the heat.”

And the timing of the heat, Thurlby says created a lot of confusion …

THURLBY … “It made for a real challenge once that heat hit, and we had people trying to pick ahead of it a little bit. We had people afterwards just stopping and waiting to see what was going to happen with their fruit, if it was going to stay on the tree or was it going to wilt.”

So, Thurlby says it turned out to be a pretty challenging year …

THURLBY … “As we moved through the season, what we saw is cherries were probably half the size to a size down where they would have normally been, which that has its impacts.”

But, what does that mean for this year? …

THURLBY … “Coming out of that, there’s certainly some questions growers have and, you know, we’ve talked this winter quite a bit about heat stress on the trees. And, frankly, we just don’t know what the results are. I mean, right now, we finished the season and overall, I mean, we were happy to get 20-million boxes off considering everything that happened.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on what our weird weather year means for cherries.

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