Northwest Cherry Growers excited about this year’s crop
The president of the Northwest Cherry Growers says he’s seen more buds this season than ever before in his career.
The president of the Northwest Cherry Growers says last fall, the trees put out more buds than he has ever seen in his career. They expect a crop just shy of 20 million boxes at 20 pounds each.
Over the last several weeks, recent warming trends have provided the perfect growing weather. Those temperatures help the sugars build up, giving the fruit the potential to be very high quality—and setting Northwest Cherries apart from the rest.
“At the end of the day, if you want to pick out one single thing that really makes the biggest difference in the market—it’s when our cherries are, you know, up to the standards that the Northwest growers have always tried to hold, which is great fruit,” said BJ Thurlby, president of the Northwest Cherry Growers said. “The growers were telling me they were 25 to 30 days out still, and they were already the size of a quarter. So, those are going to be some really nice-sized cherries.”
Thurlby says, while the weather has been nice the last several weeks, the next couple of months will be the deciding factor.
“You know, last year’s crop was 13.3 million, and was the shortest crop in the last 15 years—so, we’re definitely going to have more fruit this year and that’s good news for the grower [and] good news for the consumer,” he said. “We’re excited about that portion of the story. Everyone we’ve spoken to, whether we’re talking Korea, Taiwan, China, Viet Nam, Thailand, I mean everybody, the first thing when we sit down at the table with them is: we need cherries this year. We really—after last year—we really need cherries.”
He expects there to be an overlap in availability of California and Northwest Cherries this year. That means consumers will get more time to enjoy.