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2022's Northwest harvest is not so cherry

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Some not-so-good news for cherry lovers: It looks like this year's Northwest cherry crop is going to be the smallest in 14 years.

The president of the Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherries says an unusual snow event that happened in April has affected crops in Washington and Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

As KUOW previously reported, growers noticed in June that the cherry crop was different this year, following an extended cold spring. Whereas folks expect April showers to bring May flowers, 2022's April brought snowflakes. About 40% of cherries in Washington state hadn't even bloomed in mid-April when snow began to fall on them.

“The bees only work, they only come out of their hives when it's 55 degrees and higher," B.J. Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission, told KUOW in June. "And we went through a lot of bloom where the bees just didn't get out and work.”

That has led to the low-yield situation the Northwest is in now. The 2022 Northwest cherry crop is about 80,000 tons less than usual, OPB reports.

Thurlby told OPB that about 130,000 tons of Northwest cherries will go to market this year.

The Northwest is one of the largest cherry exporters in the United States. No word yet on how the smaller yield will affect market prices.

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