Cherries

FRESH MARKET — Yakima Valley cherries, like these are marketed locally in fresh markets but also exported to more than 54 countries, including Canada.

SUNNYSIDE — The cherries are ripening, and bins are being moved into the Valley orchards in preparation for the 2019 harvest.

Harvest is expected to get underway about June 10, local growers report.

While the fresh market crop may be a little smaller than other years, “…it is looking good,” said James Michael, vice president of marketing for Northwest Cherries, headquartered in Yakima.

“Early predictions are that we might be down about one million boxes this season,” he declared.

Even with the late arrival of spring, “…we’re still looking at harvesting 24.3 million boxes of cherries,” Michael predicted.

Emerald Road farmer Chelsea Durfey-Campbell said her block of cherries are looking beautiful.

“We’re scheduled to start harvest any time between June 10 through 13,” she noted.

“The bloom earlier this spring was stressful, when it appeared fewer flowers were popping open,” Durfey-Campbell added.

The situation normalized even with the weird spring, she noted.

“We weren’t bothered by a lot of frost, and that was good,” she said.

“Now we just keep our fingers crossed and get through harvest,” Durfey-Campbell remarked.

“The cherry harvest extends through August for the various varieties of cherries,” Michael added.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at jhart@sunnysidesun.com

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