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California Cherry Growers Prepare For A Big Harvest

** RCB ** / Flickr

** RCB ** / Flickr

Red, ripe cherries from California are starting to come to market.

Projections are that this could be one of the best harvests in years.

San Joaquin County is the biggest cherry producer in the state.

Over the last 3 years drought and late season rain have kept the volume down but the total production for the state is projected to go from 6 million boxes last year to perhaps 9 million this year.

Don Walters with Grower Direct Marketing says harvesting locally is just about to begin and labor will more be more expensive and harder to find.

“We’ll have peak demand for labor both in the field and in the packing shed," Walters says. "We’re anticipating it to be a tight labor market.”

Walters says consumers will find high prices at the start of the season but expects them to drop soon after.

“Up ‘till now they’ve seen some pretty expensive prices at retail, but starting next week through probably the first week of June, they’ll see a lot of ad pricing, some favorable pricing at retail.”

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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