Cherry Crop Update: 2017’s record crop is selling quickly

(Photo courtesy of NorthWest Cherries)

WENATCHEE- The Northwest Cherry industry leader says this year’s record crop is selling fast with good grower returns overall.

BJ Thurlby with NorthWest Cherries says over 600,000 boxes a day are being shipped.

“We’re here in the middle of July and we’ve already shipped right about 13 million boxes, we think we’re right at the 50 percent maybe a little bit further than the 50 percent point for this crop,” Thurlby said. “So far we’ve had really good demand in terms of sales at the stores from day one, our biggest challenge is we just have a really big crop.”

On years with big crops, Thurlby says the market tends to turn its nose up at smaller fruit.

“It’s my hope that the growers that are left out there are going to be able to produce 10.5 row and larger fruit that has firmness, size and some sugars,” Thurlby said. “I think that’s going to be our best bet moving forward to have  success in the remainder of this year.”

Thurlby says anyone in the industry knows that this year is bringing a huge crop to the market

“Every grower who is remotely linked in to the world knows that we have a big crop this year and years like this means a lot of work for a lot of us through July to get this fruit moved,” Thurlby said. “I think as we move into August we’ll start to see some of the lower pricing that we’re needing right now come up a little bit and we’ll see, I think, a market that will strengthen.”

The harvest is estimated at a little over 25-million boxes of cherries, an all-time record for growers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.