And he viewed the midweek July Fourth holiday as an opportunity for retailers to promote cherries both on the front end and the back end.
“We could have a double-hit period,” he said.
With some of the latest-maturing orchards in the Northwest, Brad Fowler, co-owner of Hood River Cherry Co., Hood River, Ore., said in mid-April it was too early to speculate about crop size or harvest dates.
“The buds are there for a good crop. Whether they turn into cherries remains to be seen,” he said.
Fowler doesn’t even think about July Fourth promotions, since the first fruit typically doesn’t come off until about July 20. However, he said he historically has fruit into the first week of September.
“The very best cherries are the last of the market,” Fowler said. “Consumers still want cherries in August and September.”
Because his orchards are planted at high elevation, he has expanded plantings of lapins, which have fallen out of favor with some growers because of pitting problems.
“But we’ve found that’s because they were planted in lower-elevation, warmer sites,” Fowler said. “The lapins at high elevations are magnificent cherries, and our customers demand more of the lapins.”