Yakima Valley: Demand for cherries remains high

Extreme weather and the Covid-19 pandemic had a noticeable on the 2021 cherry growing season and harvest. A record-setting heat wave reduced the 2021 cherry crop by as much as 20 percent. Overall, the Northwest region harvested 20.3 million boxes of cherries in 2021, a number that could have been close to 25 million without the intense heat wave.

Kevin Hu of the Northwest Cherry Growers had to put in a lot of effort to market Washington sweet cherries internationally. Hu reports that while Covid lockdowns and supply chain problems affected Northwest Cherry Growers’ marketing strategies in 2021, total exports of cherries from the region still increased 6 percent overall.

Japan imported its largest volume of cherries in six years. Major export markets such as China, South Korea, Australia and Mexico also received more Northwest cherries than previous years, Hu said, with Mexico showing major potential for growth.

Source: columbian.com


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