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Growing woes reducing size of Washington’s bing cherry crop

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File photo/AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — The new crop of bing cherries has been beset with growing problems this year that are reducing the size of the crop.

The Northwest’s most popular cherry variety could be in short supply in 2016, after the five-state Cherry Commission on Wednesday lowered its outlook for the season to 18.3 million 20-pound boxes.

The Tri-City Herald reported that some farmers are warning that if conditions worsen, some bing orchards could go unpicked.

Mike Taylor of Stemilt Growers says about 30 percent of the fruit on the trees would have to be culled if harvested. He described the bing crop as a “disaster.”

Washington is the nation’s leading producer of cherries and contributes more than 83 percent of the total Northwest harvest.