Cool Weather Slows Northwest Cherry Harvest

Cherry harvest is well under way across the Northwest, and soon consumers will see the 2021 crop on their local store shelves. The cooler weather and isolated showers the region saw in late May delayed the first pick for many of the early growers across the Northwest. And ongoing unsettled weather has kept the pace of harvest fairly slow, meaning limited initial volumes.

According to Northwest Cherry Growers, to date just under 600,000 boxes have been harvested, which is much less than was forecast a few weeks ago. Meanwhile the 3rd Round crop estimate for 2021 sits at 22.4 million boxes, and many growers report optimism that while this year’s crop may not be as large as years past, harvest should continue very steady through mid-August.

July, NWC noted, may not hit the high volumes reported in 2017 (15 million) or 2018 (13.5 million), but at an estimated 11.3 million boxes the 2021 crop should deliver just under the fie-year average of 11.8 million boxes in July. That means growers should provide “plenty of quality fruit for promotions throughout the month”.

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