YAKIMA, Wash. — Daily shipments of Northwest cherries have dropped below the 100,000-box mark but not without going over 20 million total for the fourth season in recent years.
As of Thursday, more than 20.5 million 20-pound boxes have been shipped worldwide, Northwest Cherry Growers reported in an crop update sent this morning. As it stands, this year’s crop is already tied for the third-highest crop ever. The 23.2 million box record from the 2014 season will likely stay put.
The region includes growers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana.
But with some growers – just about all Yakima Valley growers have completed harvest – still harvesting, shipments can still reach the 20.7 million figure Northwest Cherry Growers initially predicted back in early May.
That figure went down to 18.4 million in late May, just as the season started, when growers expressed concern about the loss of Bing cherries due to poor pollination. Ultimately, there were still plenty of other varieties, boosting the number of cherries harvested and shipped.
With just two days left in July, about 7.6 million boxes have been shipped for the month, an increase from the 7 million boxes shipped during the same month last year, but well below July shipments in other years. That was not a surprise with an early harvest that led to record shipments in both May and June.