The drought isn't helping matters, but the primary concern for cherry farmers in California is the lack of winter chill, reported Lisa Morehouse on KQED's The California Report.
Morehouse spoke to Bill Coates, a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources expert based at the UC Cooperative Extension office in San Benito County. He said cherries are more sensitive than other crops to a lack of chill hours. Because of a warming weather trend during the winter, bing cherry trees look confused about what season it is.
“You have some ripe cherries, you have...
California cherries are now beginning to show up at roadside stands, farmers markets and grocery stores, but the supply in 2013 may be a touch scanty, reported Reed Fujii in the Stockton Record.
Joe Grant, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Joaquin County, said the cherry crop is light throughout the area, across orchards and varieties.
"That rules out orchard-to-orchard factors, management factors or disease factors," he said.
Crop losses are often weather-related, but early frosts, or wet or cold weather during the bloom were not factors.
The dwindling supply of workers has created a new urgency for California farmers to employ mechanical harvesting technology, reported the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Some cherry growers, for example, were able to pick only once this year, said Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County. Ideally, they'd pick as fruit colors and ripens.
"They're finding that if they can't get labor to pick their crops, they're just not able to farm anymore," Ingels said. "So what they're going to is mechanization."
UC Davis agriculture experts, farmers and industry...
With winter winding down, fresh fruit season in California is right around the corner. The first fruit to come off trees in May and June are bing cherries.
The Stockton Record reports today that consumers can expect a bounty of the delicious and healthful fruit. California's cherry growers could produce a record-breaking 10 million 18-pound boxes of fruit this spring, according to the article by Reed Fujii. Last year California cherry growers produced 8.3 million boxes.
Excellent weather and an increasing number of acres planted to cherries is the reason for the projected growth, the story said.
In the past, the focus of the...