US (WA): ''When it comes to cherry harvest, nothing is black and white''

Cherries are one of Washington State's biggest fruit industries; this year's harvest is predicted to be similar to last year which was the third largest harvest in over two decades, with just over 20 million boxes of cherries.

However, there is one type of cherry that won't produce as much, according to the Northwest Cherry Growers. 

"I mean if you're crop is all bing cherries, you're going to have a moderate to light crop," says owner Denny Hayden of Hayden Farms.

B.J. Thurlby of Northwest Cherry Growers says some farmers growing bing cherries are down by half. 

But farmers at Sagemoor Vineyards explain how it varies from farmer to farmer.

"Overall the cherry crop here might be a little lighter than last year, but it is still a good crop," says General Manager Kent Waliser of Sagemoor Vineyards.

While it's not clear why the bing cherry didn't produce so well this year, some farmers say it could be from the pollen drying out.

"Do we know why? Not exactly. I mean it was very warm. Warmer than average," says Hayden.

Fortunately most farmers are growing several varieties such as sweetheart cherries or blush cherries.

Like with many crops this year, cherry season is pushing early for the second year in a row by two weeks due to the extreme heat.

"If it keeps doing this, obviously we'll have a new normal," says Waliser.

Cherry farmers around the Tri-Cities say when it comes to cherry harvest, nothing is black and white. 

There are so many variables that come into play. 

So while some farmers are experiencing a lighter bing crop, others could be getting a better turn out.


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