Rains followed by warm temperatures have left the Northwest early cherry crop in ruins.
“No areas have been spared,” Roger Pepperl, marketing manager of Stemilt Growers, told The Wenatchee World. “It’s been one weather event after another. This will be a year to remember.”
Growers have found it difficult to harvest the cherries and many have opted to leave the split fruit on the tree instead of incurring additional costs associated with harvesting and packing.
The Washington cherry crop was originally estimated at 18 million 20-pound boxes but is now expected to come in at 13-14 million 20-pound boxes.
B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, told The Wenatchee World that marketers had hoped for 6-7 million boxes available, but 4.8 million boxes had been packed last week,
For more on this story, click here.