Perry: Expectations For PNW Fruit Growers Mixed

As we hit the home stretch of our Northwest Farm Credit Services Quarterly Commodity Snapshot series, we take a look at the tree fruit industry. Bill Perry, Vice President at Northwest Farm Credit Services said they anticipate slightly profitable returns for local apple growers.

“A modest sized crop [but larger than 2020’s crop], coupled with weather impacts to fruit quality should be offset by strong retail demand. However, for growers impacted by quality issues, lower packouts will reduce returns.

When it comes to the cherry industry, Perry said they expect breakeven returns for Northwest growers since pricing did not recover from early season lows.

“Consumer interest was expected to be favorable, but reduced fruit quality and cherry sizes resulted in lackluster demand. Returns on cherries with limited damage and favorable fruit size are good; however, pricing on small or low-quality cherries is likely below breakeven. Some acreage wasn’t harvested due to heat damage and growers without crop insurance will suffer losses.”

Perry said pear growers can expect slight profits.

“The industry has been successful in growing customer demand with a shortened window for ripening, investments in research on new varieties and increased marketing to showcase the health benefits of eating pears. However, labor and input costs are continuing to increase from supply chain shortages and are cutting into profit margins.”

Join us Thursday as we wrap up our six part series with hay and wheat.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]

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