UPDATED: Northwest cherry optimism runs high

04/23/2014 08:42:00 AM
Tom Karst

(UPDATED April 24) YAKIMA, Wash. — The 2014 Northwest cherry crop has the potential to exceed 20 million boxes in 2014.

Blooms like these on cherry trees near Yakima, Wash., promise high production this season.Tom KarstBlooms like these on cherry trees near Yakima, Wash., promise high production this season.Cherry harvest for Northwest growers is expected to begin in early June, with promotable volume by late June and big shipments for the July 4 holiday, industry sources said in late April. Output is expected to far exceed the 14.3 million boxes shipped in 2013 — when rains hampered production — and perhaps rival the 2012 record of 23 million boxes.

“If you look at the numbers, it should be between 20 and 21 million boxes of cherries,” said B.J.Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherries, Yakima.

Tree fruit experienced a great winter with sufficient chilling hours and the crop is projected to be earlier to market than the past four or five years, he said. Water for irrigation also is plentiful, Thurlby said.

“We’ve had really good weather, lots of bees flying and blooms opening in a uniform manner throughout the districts,” said Loren Queen, marketing and communications manager at Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima.

“As long as Mother Nature continues to help us along, we should have a great cherry crop this year,” Queen said.



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