Peak season for California cherries has arrived and farmers say the dry, sunny spring weather has brought a quality crop that might well become one of the largest they've produced in several years.
Initially estimated at 9.47 million 18-pound boxes, the 2021 California cherry crop held the potential to beat the 2017 crop, when farmers harvested a record 9.55 million boxes. Still, experts say heat and wind damage earlier in the season may have affected fruit size and packouts.
Now, the crop should at least top 8 million boxes, said Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Cherry Board. That would be up from the 6.58 million boxes packed last year and higher than the previous two years. Agalert.com was told that peak harvest should continue through June 6.