Weather Takes Toll On Cherry Crop

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(Modesto, CA)
Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In Fresno County the damage is approaching 25 million dollars. They're still calculating the losses in San Joaquin County. All together it's estimated that as much as one half of the state's 100 million dollar "sweet" cherry harvest could be worthless.

Ron Miller of the California Farm Bureau says growers are suffering.

"A lot of the cherry growers have other crops so that they're not totally devastated by this, but this is a big profitable item for them that isn't going to be there this year."

Kenneth Sasaki of Lodi Export says it will be a challenge to meet the demand in Japan, one of  the biggest consumers of cherries.

"It seems to fit well with their diet. It's just something they really look forward to."

Analysts say because of the shortage consumers will likely pay more for the fruit.

(California Cherry Advisory Board)