Posted: Jul 29, 2012 12:29 PM by Laura Wilson - KAJ News
Updated: Jul 30, 2012 10:34 AM
LAKESIDE- A major distribution company based out of Washington has asked Montana cherry growers to hold off on shipping over Lambert cherries, but growers say the lull is only temporary.
"We've had this happen before. It's a hiccup. It's not a catastrophe or a crisis. Farming is farming. You have prices go up and prices go down," Point Caroline Orchards owner Louis Swanberg explained.
Most of the packing houses for Montana cherry orchards are based in Washington, and they are currently full with Washington-grown cherries, but growers expect the packing houses will need more Montana shipments by early this week.
This isn't the first time Washington's cherry supply has been higher than its demand and on Saturday members of the Flathead Lake Cherry Grower's Association met to talk about expanding to another market, an idea that's been in the work for years.
They plan on sending out cherries to Minneapolis grocery stores, where growers say they doubled cherry production from last year.
"They were just thrilled with the produce they got last year and they said we've already gotten feedback that's even better this year. So we've got a real reliable market--that doesn't rely on Oregon, Washington, or out on the coast," association board member Dick Beighle said.
Cherry pickers will end up losing a few days of work over the temporary halt in Washington shipments.