As the 2021 cherry harvest continues, the news is both good and not so good. To date nearly 13,767,157 20-pound boxes have been picked and shipped, and it looks like the supply will meet the demand of late July promotions. However, the impact of the late June heat is really starting to impact numbers. According to Northwest Cherry Growers, the daily average for the past seven days remains over 350,000 boxes a day, which is still within the normal range of a July crop.
However, when you compare it to the last two seasons, 377,000 boxes in 2020, and 467,000 boxes a day in 2019, it falls short. Growers continue to say they lost roughly 20% of the crop because of those extreme temperatures last month.
Northwest Cherry Growers said the loss was spread throughout the Northwest, but was particularly damaging to the Bing and Rainier cherry crops, which were in peak of harvest in many regions when the heat arrived. It appears that the Skeena variety, especially Skeena on particular rootstocks, was also heavily affected by the prolonged high temperatures and winds.
While our latest orchards will continue to deliver a small but steady supply until the end of August, the shipments for the 2021 yellow cherry season have significantly decreased over the past seven days.
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