Primavera predicts later than normal California cherry season
Linden, CA-based Primavera Marketing has been representing growers up and down the state of California — from the earliest districts all the way up to the San Joaquin Valley — since 1990. The company handles cherries, apples and walnuts, according to president and owner Rich Sambado, who noted that this year’s California cherry crop is off to a late start.
“If I had this call three weeks ago, I’d probably be more optimistic about timing,” Sambado said to The Produce News on Tuesday, March 28.
Going into this winter, Sambado said he was projecting a very large California cherry crop since the state had excellent early winter chill. However, with the extended cold temperatures running into the month of March, he’s no longer as optimistic.
“The bloom looks a little erratic,” Sambado said. “With this volatility and being so late, we likely can’t get a very good understanding of the crop volume until mid-April.”
Sambado noted that the “bloom season” started in early March and there would likely still be some acreage blooming through the end of the month, if not even into April, particularly the Rainier variety.
“I think outside of a handful of Royal varieties, the industry will do very little in April,” Sambado said. “In fact, I even see the first two weeks of May having very modest volume. Things should pick up the week of May 15 and the industry’s biggest days will likely be May 25 through June 15.”
This year’s California cherry crop is nearly two weeks behind “normal” and even more than that compared to last year’s crop, Sambado said.