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Bob Larson Cherry Trade Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: November 16, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson.

Yesterday, we talked about how losing China as its biggest trade partner is a serious problem for cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest and what lies ahead if the relationship can’t be repaired.

Northwest Cherry Growers president, BJ Thurlby says it’s among the top three concerns for growers and is getting plenty of attention …

THURLBY … “Yeah, you bet it does. That’s a huge issue and, for me, if you were to say what are your top three issues, it would be labor, viruses-little cherry virus and Wester X, and then losing China.”

But, Thurlby says fingers crossed …

THURLBY … “We’re all hoping that this situation gets resolved and we hope there is meetings this month and I know that President Xi, he’s actually addressing all the importers of China here, and we’re all really paying attention to see what his message is going to be, and obviously it could be a lot of different things, but the key messages might be ‘don’t import anything from the United States.” And, it might be, you know, don’t worry we’re getting this thing handled and that’s the message we hope we’re going to hear because we want to be partners, our growers do, with China. It’s critical to our business.”

Thurlby says after years of producing 20-million boxes, growers put out 25.3 million this year, just off last year’s record crop …

THURLBY … “So, big crop! It was almost as big as the record crop we had the year before. Though, for us, because cherries are so volatile, we’re trying to determine if 25-million is the new normal because we’ve floated along for about a decade at around 20-million and people have continued to make a little money and so what happens when farmers make money? Well, they plant.”

He says everyone will be watching the upcoming talks later this month.

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