Heat Slashes Northwest Cherry Shipments by 20%

Heat Slashes Northwest Cherry Shipments by 20%

An estimated 20% reduction in cherry shipments compared with earlier expectations is predicted in a new report from the Northwest Cherry Growers.

Expectations and comments from the fourth and last cherry crop estimate indicate about a 20% total crop reduction from the heat.

“That reduction is spread throughout the Northwest but was particularly damaging to the bing and rainier cherry crops, which were in the peak of harvest in many regions when the heat arrived,” the group said. Skeena also was heavily affected by high temperatures and winds, according to the report.

With supermarket ads only second to peaches in mid-July, the group said cherry promotions should line up for a strong showing through the end of July.

“While our latest orchards will continue to deliver a small but steady supply until the end of August, the shipments for the 2021 yellow cherry season have significantly decreased over the past seven days,” the group said.

On July 16 the industry’s daily shipment average for the previous week remained over 350,000 boxes a day, which is still within the normal range of a July crop.

By way of comparison, Northwest Cherry Growers said the shipments for the same week were 377,000 boxes a day in 2020 and 467,000 boxes a day during the 2019 season. As of July 14, Northwest cherry shippers had moved about 13.7 million 20-pound boxes so far this year.