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Extreme heat sizzles 20% of Northwest cherry crop

Extreme heat in the Northwest have caused up to 20 percent cherry crop losses.

Yakima, WA, recorded an all-time record high temperature of 113 degrees on June 29, just as peak season cherries are being harvested.

Northwest Cherry Growers previously estimated a crop of 23.8 million boxes, which has now been reduced to 18- to 19 million boxes, on par with the 2020 crop.

Cherry varieties most heavily hit include yellow Rainier, red Bing and Skeena varieties.

Initially growers believed they could limit heat damage by using sprinklers and netting and harvesting at night, but it was not enough to stop the damage.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.