Heavy rains in early May have significantly lowered the estimate of California’s sweet cherry crop.
As of last week, the industry was expecting below 5 million 18-pound boxes, said Mike Collins, chairman of the California Cherry Board’s estimate committee.
Bings, the most common cherry still on the trees when the rain fell, took the biggest hit, Collins said. A high percentage of Bing orchards are expected to have below a 50 percent packout.
Weather stations at Lodi, California, recorded .32 inches of rain on May 6, a record for that date, according to Weather Underground.
In early April, growers had predicted 8.1 million boxes, and revised that to 7.5 million boxes after rains delayed the start of the season.
Read more about California’s cherry industry in the story “Cherry Optimism” in the May 15, 2016, issue of Good Fruit Grower.