April 8, 2009 in Region

Cherry crop may be delayed; apple crop larger

Associated Press
 

Cooler than usual spring weather could put Washington’s cherry crop behind schedule.

Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee, tells The Wenatchee World that the sweet cherry harvest will probably be at least a week to 10 days late this year. That can cause problems with marketing the cherries, although Pepperl notes that California cherries also are about a week behind.

Ideally, growers want to avoid a gap in cherries available to stores between California’s harvest and the Northwest harvest. The goal is to have Washington cherries on shelves in time for the July 4 holiday.

Washington 2008 apple crop larger than expected

Washington apple growers say the 2008 crop was larger than expected, but too many of the apples are small.

Dan Kelly with the Washington Growers Clearing House told The Yakima Herald-Republic average prices for some red delicious apples have fallen below the cost of production.

And Keith Mathews of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association says growers with a majority of smaller fruit will lose money. Small apples are known as 113 size because there are 113 apples in a box.

Small apples make up about one-third of the crop of 110 million boxes. The shippers association says the crop was about 11 percent bigger than expected.

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