Northwest cherry crops facing disease and decreased harvest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Cherry industry officials in Oregon and Washington state estimate a tree infection has substantially depleted the fruit for this year’s harvest. Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Sunday that the infection known as little cherry disease has chopped an estimated 40 million pounds from the annual harvest beginning at the end of May. Cherry growers have to cut down infected trees to prevent the disease from spreading before entire orchards are ruined. Nearly 21 million boxes of cherries weighing 20 pounds each are expected to be picked in Oregon and Washington this year, down about 20% from a record-setting 2017 crop.