Will this year’s Washington cherry crop be a winner?

May 18, 2023, 2:28 PM

Cherry crop...

After two disappointing years, the Washington cherry crop is back. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

After two years that were kind of off, it looks like this year’s spring fruit crop will be coming up cherries in Washington state.

According to the head of the Washington Tree Fruit Association, the state’s crop will be up 30% this year — 19.9 million boxes of cherries, to be exact.

“Things are looking a lot better than the last two years,” Jon DeVaney, the Association’s president, said. “We had cold weather the past couple of years, and that led to much smaller crops.”

The state is looking at a healthy crop this year. Washington growers say this burst of warm weather means this year’s cherry crop will burst with flavor.

Bird flu sends egg prices soaring as Western Washington shoppers feel the strain

“This is a great place to grow them, and they are very healthy for you, but most of all, they taste good,” DeVaney explained.

A more normal supply should mean you get value from the retailer, but “they are often setting the price based on how popular they are and not on the wholesale price.” Look for prices to be anywhere from $5 to $10 a pound.

DeVaney said cherries should be plentiful in about a month, with the supply expected to stay strong through the end of July.

He said to look for new blush cherries varieties similar to the very popular Rainiers. Some of the new cherries are coral-colored.

There are multiple varieties of dark sweet cherries that will be available this year.

“There are many differences in opinion about what makes things best,” DeVaney said. “If you are a real cherry aficionado, you should check with your grocery store produce manager to find what you like best.”

Cooler temperatures this spring means Rainier and Bings will likely show up a couple of weeks later than normal — around mid-June.

Historic Fort Steilacoom battles to get new landlord

“Any last-minute rain could damage a cherry,” DeVaney explained. “This is a forecast, but any last-minute rain could change that.”

Around 90% of the state’s cherry crop leaves the area and heads across the country or around the world.

“There is a lot of pressure on growers,” DeVaney said. “Prices are going up for all of the input they have on their food. What we’re seeing is a lot of pressure on smaller growers. This is still primarily a family-owned industry. They may not be as small as they used to be, but they are still family-owned.”

Local News

Garfield High...

Frank Sumrall

Garfield HS the focus of school safety precautions following nearby violence

Garfield High School and Nova High School both had its students return on campus in person Monday after locking down the campus last week.

16 hours ago

Great Seattle Fire...

Ted Buehner

Could ‘Great Seattle Fire’ happen again with current warm streak?

Tuesday, June 6 marks the date of the tragic 1889 Great Seattle Fire that burned 25 blocks of downtown waterfront Seattle.

16 hours ago

seattle raise child...

Bill Kaczaraba

Seattle ranks among most expensive in US to raise a child

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranks 34th in the nation in the cost to raise a child, according to a study from SmartAsset.

16 hours ago

Macklemore Climate Pledge Arena...

L.B. Gilbert

Macklemore announces first show at Climate Pledge Arena

Seattle native Macklemore announced Monday he would be performing his first show at Climate Pledge Arena in December.

16 hours ago

Washington wildfire season...

L.B. Gilbert

Brush fires in Bellevue, Orondo start Washington wildfire season

It's not even summer and wildfire season is already underway in Washington state after two brush fires broke out over the weekend.

16 hours ago

AG neglect case...

Kate Stone

WA AG settles neglect, document withholding case for $3.1M

The AG's office will pay more than $3 million to settle a lawsuit over a woman who was allegedly mistreated at an adult family home in Kent.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Will this year’s Washington cherry crop be a winner?