Nationally High Cherry Prices Help Flathead Lake Growers

Prices are $55 to $62 a box, nearly double the usual mid-$30 range

By Dillon Tabish
Cherries at Big Sky Orchard along Flathead Lake. Beacon File Photo

MISSOULA — High cherry prices across the nation have helped cherry growers in northwestern Montana stay afloat even as recent heavy rains have damaged some of the local crop.

The Missoulian reports that president of the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Bruce Johnson says the rainfall has forced orchards to do more sorting to cull out cherries, but growers are still able to pick because of the high prices.

Bigfork grower Dale Nelson says prices are $55 to $62 a box, nearly double the usual mid-$30 range.

The Flathead Lake harvest will continue for less than a week.

Johnson’s group is a co-op comprised of roughly two-thirds of the area’s nearly 90 commercial orchards. He expects the 2016 crop to be around 2 million pounds.

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