YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Northwest cherry growers expect a 2013 crop of 18 million boxes, well short of last year's record of 23 million boxes, but the average cherry size should be larger and the harvest is expected to start sooner.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reports growers and marketers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah released their crop estimate Wednesday.
Washington is the largest producer, with an expected crop of 14 million boxes. A box of cherries weighs 20 pounds.
The president of Northwest Cherry Growers and the Washington State Fruit Commission, B.J. Thurlby, says the crop will be smaller because of cool, windy weather in the pollination period. But he expects cherry quality will be high.
The harvest in warmer areas near the Columbia River is expected to begin around June 2.