Industry body Northwest Cherry Growers (NWCG) has revised its 2017 crop estimate, with this year’s harvest now expected to yield over 245,000 tonnes of fruit, equating to approximately 24.5m cartons (9.1kg).
The updated forecast betters NWCG’s initial production estimate of 22.7m cartons, and would be a substantial improvement on last year’s 20.97m cartons.
“We are now seeing that the cherries have stayed on the trees in our later growing districts,” NWCG explained in a statement.
“General feedback on the estimate has been in agreement, especially factoring in the increased late harvest crop.”
The focus of US cherry production has now shifted to the Northwest, with programmes out of California winding down. Estimates put the Californian crop at around 9.5m cartons.
The Northwest harvest got underway on 8 June, with the industry now tending to the last of its early variety Chelans and Santinas. Early production regions are well into the harvest of the Bing variety, with over 2.6m cartons shipped as of 21 June.
“As the season progresses, we will be monitoring cullage levels – which will ultimately determine the final size of the year’s fresh crop,” the NWCG release added.
“The Rainier varieties are collectively expected to finish around 1.8 million 15-pound boxes shipped across June and July.”