By Lisa Towner, ALC Portland
Cherry season is right around the corner. The Pacific Northwest cherry season typically begins in early June and continues until late August.
A typical season will see 20-25 million boxes of cherries harvested in Oregon and Washington. Cherries are generally picked, chilled, and loaded onto a truck within 24-48 hours. Peak season usually coincides with the 4th of July. Many refrigerated carriers across the country plan their loads around cherry season every year.
April 2022 saw record low temperatures in Washington and Oregon. A cold spring brings many obstacles for local cherry growers. Several publications have predicted cherries to start later and the crop to be smaller than usual. Some predict the overall crop will be between 20% and 35% smaller than in the previous five years.
The Seattle Times warned that a cool April will also affect bees, as they struggle to pollinate the cherry blossoms. Less fruit available will also mean each box will have increased value due to basic supply and demand. This is a stark contrast to what growers were facing last year. In April 2021, the Pacific Northwest saw record high temperatures that reduced the cherry crop by 20%, according to Fruit Growers News.
Overall, many growers remain optimistic as the season approaches. Delayed cherry harvest in some growing regions may extend the season, which could be profitable for cherry producers in the Pacific Northwest. Most growers agree that the fruit will be high quality and ready for consumers to enjoy in the first few weeks of June.
Lisa Towner began her career with the Allen Lund Company as a transportation broker in 2002. She was promoted to assistant manager in the Portland office in 2015. In 2022, Towner was promoted to manager ALC Portland. Her transportation career began back in 2000 when she worked at the corporate headquarters for a national LTL company.