Californian growers forced to pick cherries later than usual

Near Easton, in Fresno County, California, rapidly ripening cherry crop are showing off their deep red color. Tony Yasuda, field operations manager for the Rivermaid brand, said: "This is the latest that we've picked ever. Usually, normally, we're picking end of April or the first few days of May."

He did add, however, that it is a good crop; much better than the past two years. "The yield is good this year," he said. "Like today, we're going to be picking 800 bins."

As soon as the cherries are harvested under the warm sun, they're taken to the packing shed and immediately cooled off with cold water. They go straight into a chiller hydro cooler, which is set at about 45 degrees. Rivermaid then sells its cherries locally, around the US and even exports to China.


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