Cherry growers in the Flathead Valley say a bumper crop in Washington state is cramping their marketing of the fruit.
Ken Edington, a board member of the Flathead Cherry Growers, says the national market is strong but the Washington state crop is so good that it is creating a tough atmosphere for Montana growers. He says Washington packing plants can hold out and accept only the larger premium cherries, which helps keep demand and prices up.
As a result, the smaller cherries that usually make it to market aren’t going to be picked this year.
Marilyn Bowman of Bowman Orchards near Yellow Bay says many growers in the Flathead have decided to leave some cherries unpicked this season.