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Liam O’Callaghan

BY LIAM O’CALLAGHAN

NW cherries pick up pace

Northwest cherry growers are still expecting significant volumes this season despite a downgraded second estimate

NW cherries pick up pace

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The round two estimate of the 2019 US Northwest cherry crop is down 3 per cent on the previous forecast with a release from Northwest Cherry Growers (NWCG) predicting a crop of 243,027 tonnes.

Although the second-round estimate of 24.3m cartons (9.1kg equivalents) is down 1.5m cartons from 2018, that result will still make 2019 the third largest crop ever.

Most varieties are lighter on the tree than last season, especially the Canadian and yellow varieties, NWCG said.  Regardless of the variety, for the most part, the crops are spread throughout the trees in singles, pairs and loose groupings or clusters.

The season is continuing to trend earlier compared to growers’ initial reports, with ideal weather conditions playing a key role. “In some spots, most notably our earliest, the orchards have made up almost two weeks of time,” the release said.

Based on that information, growers expect a significant promotable volume in June. The projection has increased from 7.8m cartons to 9m cartons even through the overall crop has decreased slightly.

The association still expects the back end of the crop to yield promotable volume well into August, but final pick dates have remained static between rounds.

 

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