Washington Farmers Expecting Third Largest Cherry Crop Ever This Season

May 12, 2014

Northwest sweet cherry growers say they'll likely pick 20 million boxes full — their third largest haul ever — this season. But there’s plenty that can happen to cherries before then, even on the day of harvest.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah grow about two-thirds of the nation’s sweet cherries. And this year, demand should be even higher for those candy-like fruit as a result of the dismal cherry growing weather in California. The continuing drought in that state and poor pollination has thinned out their crops. 

Here in the Northwest, cherry-growing weather has been better. James Michael with the Northwest Cherry Growers says there could be cherries on store shelves clear into August.

“Our growers in our latest districts in Oregon and northern Washington as well are just finishing up with bloom. So that really lends to a nice long season," Michael said.

Northwest cherries will make it to stores as long as there are no close-to-harvest rains. Water puddles near the fruit’s stem can split the fruit. The orbs of goodness should start hitting stores in early June.