Good cherry volume heads to market

04/19/2013 09:39:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Stemilt should start shipping brooks cherries around May 1-3, followed by corals about two weeks later, then tulares and garnets.

Cherry volume from Morada Produce Co, Linden, Calif., should be up by about 20% this season, thanks to the addition of growers and bearing acreage, said Larelle Miller, saleswoman.

The company expects to start harvesting some brooks by April 29 — a bit earlier than last year but about on schedule compared with other years, she said.

Overall, this year’s crop size should be average to slightly above average, she predicted.

“It’s certainly not a limb-buster.”

Cameron expects early season prices to be more moderate than last year, when a reduced crop from Kern
County resulted in high prices.

Last year, prices in mid-May for 16-pound cartons of bagged brooks and tulare cherries from the San Joaquin Valley ranged from $40-45 for 12-row size to $65-68 for 10-row size, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. By June 1, prices on tulares had dropped to $28-55.

Pepperl said in early April that he was being cautious about committing to Memorial Day programs, especially if the season gets off to slow start.

“Memorial Day could be challenging,” he said.

Retailers may want product for Memorial Day ads by May 13, he said. Since it could take a couple of weeks to get enough fruit off the trees, if picking doesn’t start until May 4 or 5 meeting demand could be difficult.
“We’ll see how we catch up,” he said.


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