During the 2022-23 growing season, Oregon cherry farmers faced impacts from weather and a glut of cherries from other West Coast producers, which sent prices plummeting for their crop. This photo shows pallets of Suite Note cherries harvested in June 2023 at CE Farm Management, a 35-acre cherry orchard in The Dalles.Selene Chandler

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued two natural disaster designations, and they affect several counties in Oregon. Wasco, Hood River, Clackamas, Multnomah, Clackamas, Gilliam, Jefferson, Marion, Sherman and Wheeler counties were listed in the designations. This means that farmers in the affected counties are eligible to apply for emergency assistance.

Extreme weather events in recent years have affected Oregon growers and spurred agency action. Farmers have faced unseasonably hot conditions and drought in the past. In 2021, a heat dome destroyed cherries as they baked on trees. Last year there was a glut of cherries across the West which caused prices to plummet.

Ian Chandler is the chair of the Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission and a cherry farmer. He joins us with more on what this means for fruit producers and how this year’s season is going.

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