The handling of cherries in our valleys is high intensity, high value and high return in a good year.
We raise a crop that is special, and calls for special care. Automated electronic sorting is the latest way to get the best from the crop, and a number of fruit houses have invested in these products.
I got a tour of Northern Fruit’s new machine, an Italian-made wonder that handles the cherries quickly, photographs every cherry multiple times as it speeds through the sorter, throws out the culls and sends the good ones to be packed.
The World ran a story of Stemilt’s new machine a month ago. That was an Australian-made product, but the results are similar: better sorting, faster and fewer employees, although it still is labor-intensive.
Doug Pauly, head of Northern Fruit, commented that this new system is a wonder, putting cherry handling into the electronic age instantly. Cherries are big business around here, with more cherry acreage in this county than apples.
We know something about electronics, with our present publishing systems, and we are impressed with the new machine age in our cherry world.