Looking ahead at the 2020 season, the Northwest Cherry Growers announced this week that they expect little cherry disease to reduce the potential crop volume by 2.5–3 million boxes for the coming season. The full crop estimate will be released in mid-May and in recent years has averaged around 23 million boxes.

Rigorous standards in the orchards and packing houses ensure that none of the small and bitter fruit caused by little cherry disease is shipped, the press release said. However, growers have had to be aggressive in removing trees, and sometimes entire blocks, to stop the spread of the pathogens that cause the disease.

Northwest Cherry Growers includes cherry growers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana.

To learn more about the impact of little cherry disease on the Pacific Northwest cherry industry, see Kate Prengaman’s article in the December 2019 issue of Good Fruit Grower magazine: X disease devastation strikes Pacific Northwest.

—by Jonelle Mejica