Northwest cherry harvest smallest in 14 years due to cold
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Pacific Northwest cherry crop this year is the smallest in 14 years at least in part because of a spring snowstorm.
The smaller-than-usual fruit harvest happened largely because Oregon and Washington were hit with a severe winter storm on April 14, during the region’s cherry blossom bloom, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
According to B.J. Thurlby, the president of both the Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherries, a snow event during the cherry bloom has not happened before.
He said this year’s crop is the smallest since 2008.
“The crop should finish up at 130,000 tons going to the fresh market,” Thurlby told OPB. “A normal crop is 210,000 tons going to the fresh market. While the state fruit commission cannot comment on market prices, fewer cherries will be available on the market, with the Northwest being one of the largest exporters in the nation.”
Charles Poindexter, co-owner of Sherwood Orchards, said farms in the Willamette Valley weren’t as severely affected as colder parts of the Pacific Northwest.
Poindexter said his apple season was also affected by the weather. He said it started about a week late because of cold weather, but he hopes the crop won’t be seriously impacted.