Washington's cherry season could be one of its best on record

Volume is building heavily for Washington cherries. “Volumes are really coming on,” says Scott Marboe of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers of Wenatchee, Wa. “We have hit our first peak this past week and we are packing some fantastic cherries.”

Marboe notes that the 2017 cherry season returns to more of a traditional season.
“We’ve had a much earlier harvest window the past few years, but mid/early June is a more traditional harvest window,” he says. “This crop has a lot of the same characteristics of 2009 but with better June volume. We are, in my opinion, going to see pack outs closer to 25 million cartons out of here when it is all said and done.” In fact, he predicts they’ll go to the end of August if no weather issues pop up, the 2017 season could possibly be one of its best crops on record.

Sizing looking up
Strong sizing is also being seen across the varieties. “Our newer plantings of Dark Sweet varieties such as Cristalina, Coral Champagne and Royal Hazel are really producing some large sized fruit,” says Marboe. “We’re excited about them, and of course, our Rainier tonnage is up this year by over 75 percent too.”

Meanwhile demand is strong for cherries both domestically and in the export market. “We’re in the middle of our first big domestic pulls building for the 4th of July,” says Marboe. “Retailers across the USA have geared up for the 4th and cherries are a big part of the traditional ad plan.”

International demand
Marboe notes strong demand from Asia as well. “The Asian markets are especially hungry for the great flavor, crunch and quality of Starr Ranch cherries,” he says.

Demand continues throughout the summer anticipates Marboe. “We have some big shipping weeks lined up through July,” he says.

For additional information:
Scott Marboe
Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers
Tel: 509-888-5120

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