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Cherry farmers across the Northwest Turn in Record Crop
Emmett--With the last cherries coming off the trees, farmers have a lot to be thankful for in 2009. Farmers report triple yields over last year with above average quality.
"It never got too hot, and that slowed the ripening process giving pickers enough time to get the cherries off the trees. There was rain but it was early enough not to split the cherries," said Al Dimmick
Dimmick runs Cherrystone Orchard in Emmett, he said during the peak of harvest no one was getting sleep because there was so much picking to do. He says last year's frost and cool temps severely cut into the 2008 crop, with just an 18-percent yield now there are almost too many cherries to pick and declared a bumper crop for 2009.
In Idaho and Washington the lower elevation orchards are through with the picking season, now the season heads into the higher elevations. Cherry farmers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho all expect a bigger than usual crops of fresh cherries -- 18 million 20-pound boxes.