Yakima cherry harvests almost ready - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima cherry harvests almost ready

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - Cherry growers in the lower Columbia River basin expect their harvest to gear up early next week.

B.J. Thurlby of Northwest Cherry Growers says 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 the total Washington crop will be 20 million boxes, up from 18.3 million boxes last year. 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.