Flathead Cherry Harvest Running Late

By Beacon Staff

Cool temperatures in the late spring and early summer are pushing back this year’s Flathead cherry harvest.

Flathead Lake Cherry Growers president Dale Nelson says the 2011 harvest could be the latest ever. He says he doesn’t expect growers to start picking until July 28 and says people likely will be picking cherries through mid-August.

Some years, the Flathead Lake cherry harvest begins in early July and normally the cherries are ripe by mid-July.

However, the late harvest isn’t bad news, because the Washington state cherry crop is also behind schedule. Grower Louise Swanberg says Flathead growers hope the Washington cherries are sold out before their fruit hits the market.

Nelson says he expects growers to harvest about 2 million pounds of cherries, below the average of 2.5 million pounds.

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