Record number of cherries shipped in 2012

YAKIMA — The five states that make up the Northwest Cherry Growers have broken their shipment record this year and the season isn’t over yet.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reported that 22.7 million boxes of cherries have been shipped this year so far. Washington state leads with 18 million boxes.

The old record was 20.3 million boxes, set in 2009.

Producers say they still have until about Labor Day to continue shipping cherries.

B.J. Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherry Growers, says the final season total should reach 23 million boxes.

Washington state is the largest of the five-state production area that also includes Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana.

Total production is estimated to have a value approaching $800 million.

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