Based on weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest, growers expect an increase in the production of late-season cherries, which will result in a consistent availability of the fresh fruit through month's end.
"Over the last few seasons, growers have been planting more late-season varieties, and so we expected to have a steady volume of fruit starting in early to mid-June and continuing through the middle of August," stated B.J. Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission.
If the warm weather continues, cherry-growers look forward to a high-quality crop with volumes similar to those seen last year. In addition to the most popular variety — Bing cherries — growers expect an increase of more than 10 percent in the volume of Rainier cherries, a very popular golden variety generally available through August.
Cherries are a delicate, labor-intensive fruit, and only a few places in the world have the right combination of climate and soil conditions to grow them. As such, they are one of the few remaining truly seasonal fruits.
"There's a very small window of opportunity for buying Northwest cherries, and then they're gone for another year," noted Thurlby.
More than 2,500 growers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah work year-round to produce the region's famous fruit. Growers from these states had been selling their prize cherries for more than 100 years before they officially created the Northwest Cherry Growers in 1947. Today, the United States is a world leader in the production of sweet cherries, with more than 70 percent coming from Northwest Cherry Growers.
To learn more, visit: www.nwcherries.com.