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Quicker and shorter cherry season this year

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Jul 28 2013 04:48:23 PM MDT
FINLEY POINT, Mont. -

In the Flathead, it's finally here; cherry season.

Every year, farms on the coast of Flathead Lake harvest cherries from late July to the middle of August.

This year's cherry harvest has been better than most anticipated.

Lucky is one way Brian Campbell would describe this year's cherry season in the Flathead.

“The quality of the fruit is really good this year," Campbell said.

"It's been very good, mostly because the weather's been very cooperative."

Campbell is the field representative for the Monson Fruit Company, working with the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Association.

He tells me that Mother Nature has been the key factor for a better than expected cherry season.

"It's been warmer weather, so the crop came on earlier and faster, so it was a faster ripening."

Thanks to little rain over the past few weeks, cherry farmers have been able to gather more cherries.

"The rain not only splits the fruit, but it softens the fruit, so it doesn't hold up as well and it can delay the harvest because we can't pick when it's full of rain water or when it's wet."

A quicker and shorter season isn't necessarily a good thing though.

"Some years it might be a determent because you have a lot of cherries coming on the market at the same time Washington cherries are coming on the market."

But once again, due to Mother Nature, storms in Washington have ruined much of their crop, helping prices for cherry farmers here in the Flathead.

"The market is better than average this year for sure, it's very good."