Flathead Cherry Season Finally Arrives

By Beacon Staff

Last week’s rain was just the latest event in a growing season that Flathead Lake cherry growers predict will yield only half the harvest of last year’s bumper crop of 4 million pounds.

First, there was the April freeze that sterilized a portion of the buds.

Then there was a late bloom, sometime around May 10. Cold, damp weather kept the bees down, and grower Dick Best says pollination was poor.

By the time snow fell in June, Best says the die was cast.

Dale Nelson is president of the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Cooperative. He says they’re seeing the latest harvest in 15 years — good news for growers, who will have the only cherries available late in the season, meaning they’ll command a good price.