Cherry Glut Pt 2

Cherry Glut Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. The volume beat last year’s crop, and the quality has been outstanding, but this year’s cherry season has been a disaster.

That’s according to BJ Thurlby, President of NW Cherry Growers, who says this has been the strangest cherry season he’s ever seen …

THURLBY … “Well, I am just kind of down to my wits end. It’s just three-quarters of the way through the cherry season and we’ve had buyer guests in every week, touring them all over the place. You know, the challenges we’ve had in the market and just make sure we’re doing our part in keeping up the pressure to keep these retailers running ads.”

Northwest growers, Thurlby says have had to scramble …

THURLBY … “Very much so. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been, for me, the most negative cherry year in my career. You know, we’ve had issues where if a grower didn’t have a specific amount of 10-row and larger fruit in his orchard, or her orchard, you know, these packers have just said there’s no value in picking it because you won’t even get back picking costs.”

So, Thurlby says harvest won’t last much longer …

THURLBY … “This season is going to be over pretty quickly. For the most part, by the second week of August it’ll be a done-deal and there’ll be some late cherries that are still coming off, but it’ll be one or two, three growers probably.”

Thurlby says one bright spot this year has been the export markets in Asia that love NW cherries.

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