According to National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) forecasts, U.S. sweet cherry production is at 749 million pounds, a 52% increase over last year. If the estimates are correct, 2009 will be the largest on record, surpassing 2007’s 621.4 million pounds.
The Pacific Northwest saw the biggest increases. California is the only state NASS surveyed that’s projected to be down this year. Washington, the largest sweet cherry producer, is estimated at 400 million pounds, doubling last year’s frost-inflicted crop.
A cooler spring pushed California’s cherry season back a week, and the state’s cherry shipments were down 4% this season.