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Last year's record volume won't be repeated this season

California's southern & northern cherry crops will have lower volume

Northern and southern cherry producing regions in California are lagging behind last year’s record supply, however fruit will be available in multiple varieties, including Bing, Coral Champagne, and Brooks.

Growers like Rivermaid Trading Company were originally hoping for a repeat of last year when the industry had 9.5 million total cases. This year Kyle Persky says it doesn’t look like they’ll come anywhere close to that. “Early districts have shown lighter crops in some areas,” he says. They expect their first cherries on or about April 25 with volume slowly ramping up as more orchards start harvest during the first week of May. Promotional volumes are expected the week of May 7.

There’s fruit on the trees but at significantly lighter volume. The southern district has the Coral Champagne variety showing the best crop set out of the varieties so far, according to Persky, followed by Brooks. The area didn’t experience a good enough chill hours; the weather wasn’t helpful, not cooperating after the buds started to swell. “We had a freeze about early March and that impacted the bloom and hurt some buds and confused some of the trees.”

Northern district fruit consists of mostly Bing cherries (which should begin around May 23), also Coral Champagne (coming on the week of May 14), and Garnett. “I think Bing is still the star of the California cherry deal.” Overall Persky anticipates higher FOB pricing. 

The company is currently installing a third high-definition sorting machine from Australia. The first was added six years ago and last year they added their second. “Essentially our production capacity has doubled from where it was two years ago,” he says. The newest sorter will be in operation for this season. 

For more information:
Kyle Persky
Rivermaid Trading Company
Tel: (+1)209-369-3586

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