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Fewer but plumper Northwest cherries expected this year


The spring's cold snaps will mean not as many cherries this summer. Flower buds and bees don’t like low temperatures. And the cherries—well, they don’t like the rain. But there is a silver lining. a week.

Here’s the good news: When there are fewer cherries on the tree, that means the fruit that remains usually get plumper. Norm Gutzwiler, who farms near Wenatchee, is a bit grumpy about the recent rains on his 100 acres of cherries.

Some farmers are already using helicopters to shake the water off their fruit so the cherries don’t split and spoil. Gutzwiler says the riper the sweet orbs get, the more susceptible they are to rain damage.

“They may be a little bit harder to find, but I think there will be adequate cherries for the market and the consumer," he said. 

This summer farmers plan to harvest about 18 million boxes weighing about 20 pounds each. That’s down from a record 23 million boxes last year. 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.