Washington’s Third-Largest Cherry Crop Queued Up This Season

By Anna King

Northwest sweet cherry growers say this season they'll likely pick their third-largest haul ever. That's 20-million boxes full. But there’s plenty that can happen to cherries even the day of harvest.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah grow about two-thirds of the nation’s sweet cherries. And this year demand should be even higher for those candy-like fruit. That’s because of dismal cherry growing weather in California. The continuing drought in that state and poor pollination has thinned out their crops. 

Northwest cherries. File photo by Anna King.Up here, cherry-growing weather has been better. James Michael is with the Northwest Cherry Growers. He says there could be cherries on store shelves clear into August.

James Michael: “Our growers in our latest districts in Oregon and northern Washington as well, are just finishing up with bloom. So that really lends to a nice long season.”

Northwest cherries will make it to stores as long as there are no close-to-harvest rains. Water puddles near the fruit’s stem and can split the fruit. The orbs of goodness should start hitting stores in early June.

Photo: Northwest cherries, file photo by Anna King.

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