YAKIMA -- Cherry growers in the lower Columbia River Basin expect their harvest to gear up early next week.
B.J. Thurlby of Northwest Cherry Growers said the recent rain and cool temperatures have damaged up to
10 percent of the crop there, but the crops near Yakima and Wenatchee have been unaffected because they ripen later.
Growers are estimating that the total Washington crop will be 20 million boxes, up from 18.3 million boxes last year and close to a record 20.4 million boxes in 2009.
Thurlby also said Friday that grocery stores across the country should be well stocked with Washington cherries by July 4 and stay well stocked well into August, thanks to new varieties planted at higher elevations to ripen even later in the summer.