(May 22) With a couple of rough seasons behind them, California cherry growers anticipate ample supplies of good-quality fruit this spring.

Although rain in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley caused some cracking among early fruit, which is now being harvested, orchards to the north escaped major problems, said Jim Culbertson, executive manager of the California Cherry Advisory Board, Lodi.

This year’s crop should be back to normal – 5 million to 6 million 18-pound boxes – after being down to about half that last year because of poor weather.

Good supplies should mean lower prices for consumers, but not so low that farmers will lose money, Culbertson said.