The US Northwest Cherry Growers believes there is potential for a crop of 19.9 million 20 lb. boxes. This would constitute a 50% increase in crop size as compared to the 13.3 million box crop in 2022.
May 17, 2023. These Chelan variety cherries are being grown by NW Cherry Grower Patrick Sullivan. Pat expects to harvest these in approximately 27 days.
This 1st estimate comes after reviewing degree day build up, bloom timing and potential fruit set on the cherry trees. The earliest harvest is expected to start on or near June 15th.
If the weather remains warm they can expect a crop that will peak on 10 row cherries. Representatives from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana have determined that the 2023 crop has great potential relative to crop volume and fruit size. As weather across the region has generally been in the 80 degree F range the past two weeks, it is clear that the region is seeing optimal weather for cell division for size and sugar development. This year the first bloom in their earliest orchards began on April 8th, with full bloom coming on April 15th. The normal growth cycle for sweet cherries is 60 to 65 days from pollination to harvest.
Cherries in the early and mid-season districts appear to have set a nice crop. This was the expectation and the hope, and as of Thursday 18 May, 2023, the crop is developing beautifully. Late season growers also expect to have a moderate to average crop in 2023. Their post 4th of July orchards have experienced a “flash bloom” that has resulted in some pollination issues. “We are seeing some orchards that are lighter than expected – as crop load will run from 5 to 10 tons to the acre based on location. The good news for our late season offerings is that growers are expecting great size and sugars,” the growers stated.
The early season volume on the Northwest trees should sufficiently help cherry-focused retailers transition from this year’s California crop. Between cherries from California and late starting harvest in the Northwest – there should be ample opportunity for retailers to source cherries for the 4th of July holiday.
For more information:
Northwest Cherry Growers