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Greg Martin 05/10/05 Record setting cherry crop?
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 10, 2005

The initial news is very good indeed for the Northwest cherry industry about this years crop.

SEVERN: Were expecting to be in about the same range as we were last year, producing about eleven to twelve million boxes in the Northwest.

And according to David Severn of Northwest Cherries, if the crop does max out around twelve million boxes that would easily be a record crop. Of course, that is provided that inclement weather conditions or a late season frost does not cause some sort of damage related reduction in tonnage. But that is something growers from the Northwest states, and Utah, will be keeping an eye on in the next two months, as well as the progression of the crop. Some of their projections were discussed during a meeting earlier this week in Pasco.

SEVERN: We also work with field men from throughout Washington and Oregon and the other states. They represent over eighty per cent of the tonnage to be able to get a feel for how the crops changing as the season progresses and were going to be looking at that again throughout the coming months as the season progresses.

But now comes the question of how Northwest Cherries, considered one of the premiere commodity marketers, would be able to market a record crop and still obtain a premium price for its growers? Severn says that is not based on the size of the crop, but rather on if the product is readily available for consumers whether domestically or internationally. An explanation is coming up in our next program.

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