USA: Small Northwest cherry growers likely to lose money due to huge Californian harvest

USA: Small Northwest cherry growers likely to lose money due to huge Californian harvest

Most years, cherry season in North America starts in California and moves up the coast to British Columbia as the year progresses. As the season ends in California, it is just starting in Washington and Oregon. This year, though, delays in the California cherry season might impact Pacific Northwest yields.

All in all, crops were heavily impacted by the unpredictable weather patterns across the west coast throughout 2023. Sensitive crops like cherries are susceptible to all sorts of variables, especially weather, so this year’s cherry season has been just as difficult to predict as the weather. What’s different about this cherry season? California had a record-setting cold and wet spring, pushing its cherry season back nearly three weeks. But once the season began, it was clear it would be extremely abundant.

There are usually only a few days of overlap between California’s cherry season and Washington and Oregon’s seasons. This year, there were weeks of overlap. Multiple regional cherry farmers have stated that, due to California’s large yield, packing companies have been denying fruit that they usually accept. The glut of cherries led to higher and higher standards of cherry, so packing companies have been calling more and more out.

Source: tri-cityherald.com and Fresh Plaza

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