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No Record Harvest, But Growers Call Early Cherry Season A 'Vintage Year'

Anna King
Northwest News Network

The start of this year’s cherry season in May is the earliest growers have ever seen in Central Washington. Yakima Valley grower Mark Roy said the harvest usually runs from June 20 to July 20.

“We had to cut short our Memorial Day weekend plans for the first time ever,” Roy said. “But then that means we have the Fourth of July off.”

The month of May was tough on bing cherries. So the commission that represents five cherry-producing states including Oregon, Washington and Idaho lowered its outlook to just below a three-year harvest average.

Even so, Roy calls 2016 a ‘vintage year.’

“We’ve got great quality of cherries,” he said. “The size -- everything is beautiful.”

The last record cherry harvest in the region came in 2014.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.