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Record May cherry crop for Northwest

The Northwest cherry season is thoroughly under way, with another record May in the books. Early season shipment reporting is the most subjected to post-season tally adjustments, but the preliminary reporting shows a May total of 651,427 boxes (20 pound). Four years ago, Northwest Cherry Growers didn’t track any official shipments until June 7th. Five years ago, it was June 15th until a cherry was shipped. Now they’ve nearly doubled last year’s record of 362,141 boxes with only three additional days of shipping. The first recorded shipments this season were on the 20th of May.

Size and color continue to be the story of the season, with beautiful cherries hitting shelves nationwide. "For sure, this is a crop that will remind consumers why they like cherries, so the challenge for retailers will be to maintain displays long enough to capture repeat purchases." explains James Michael from Northwest Cherry Growers.

"As this crop takes shape, the key message here remains the same: plan for promotable volume from mid-June through mid-July. After talking with several growers and industry principals in our latest districts over the past few days, it appears that our consistently warm weather has edged their harvest expectations closer and closer to July. That strengthens the volume flow for July ads, but suggests that retailers focus their ad and promotion plans towards July instead of August this season."

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