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Washington cherry growers anticipate a delayed but bountiful harvest this summer, possibly breaking a record for the latest start. The president of the Washington State Fruit Commission, B.J. Thurlby, explained that the delay stems from cold spring weather, slowing down bud development.

Normally starting on June 1, this year's harvest is expected to commence on June 15. If it begins on June 16 or 17, it will surpass the record set in 2011. While late starts pose challenges, as cherries are highly sought after for Fourth of July celebrations, Thurlby remains optimistic about a successful season.

The bloom this year has been exceptional, raising hopes for a moderate crop of 22 to 23 million 20-pound boxes of cherries. This aligns with the industry's annual goal. In 2021, adverse weather led to a lower harvest of around 13 million boxes. Thurlby's recent visit to Wenatchee revealed stunning blossoms, although some orchards at higher elevations experienced bud damage.

In the apple industry, Todd Fryhover, the Washington Apple Commission president, shared similar optimism, expecting a return to normalcy with increased crop yields and diverse new varieties.

Overall, Washington's fruit industry is anticipating a fruitful summer despite minor setbacks and previous challenges.

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