Northwest Cherries’ initial estimate for the 2014 season suggests that will be up 39 per cent on last year. The forecast pegs production at 199,566 tonnes or almost 20m 20lb cartons, which would make it the third largest cherry crop ever.
The marketer said warmer weather during the spring indicates that this year’s harvest will begin in early June; leading to ample volume available for the 4th of July holiday.
The estimate is one of four rounds of projections during the crop’s early development, during which the team looks at crop potential across all growing districts with each member submitting data specific to their active growing districts. This data is built into an estimation model that uses personal assessments of current crop load, historical data, degree days, crop expansion and average processing tonnage data to formulate an estimate.
“As always, it is important to note that this first round estimate has the most potential for variance from the eventual actual size of the crop; not all of our orchards are far enough along to determine what will actually stay on the tree,” Northwest Cherries said in a statement.
There is expected to be a good spread between production districts this year, meaning more time to progress through harvest. If the spread continues, it should give the industry between 80 and 90 days to sell the entire crop, Northwest Cherries said.