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Drought Blamed For Drop In Cherry Harvest

** RCB ** / Flickr
 

** RCB ** / Flickr

The California cherry crop this year was paltry compared to most years. Some orchards went unpicked because there was so little fruit.

A normal year sees about 12 million boxes of cherries picked in California. This year only 2.5 million boxes were harvested, which represents about a 75 percent drop.

San Joaquin County accounts for about 60 percent of the cherry harvest in the state. 

Tom Gotelli of O-G Packing in Stockton, which grows and packs cherries says warm days in December, January, and February were to blame. 

"No fog and no rain, the trees didn't know what to do, we have to have so many hours under 45 degrees and we think certainly when you have high temperatures it messes up the whole mechanism of the tree," says Gotelli.

According to the California Cherry Board the cherry crop is normally valued at over $200 million but this year it will fall well short of that figure. 

 droughtstocktoncaliforniawatersan joaquin countycherryCalifornia Cherry Board