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Here’s how the raspberry harvest went this year for Whatcom farmers

A worker watches over raspberries on a raspberry harvester as the fruit drops off of a conveyor belt and into a barrel at a farm in Lynden. Raspberries are a big part of Whatcom County’s agricultural industry.
A worker watches over raspberries on a raspberry harvester as the fruit drops off of a conveyor belt and into a barrel at a farm in Lynden. Raspberries are a big part of Whatcom County’s agricultural industry. The Bellingham Herald

This summer’s raspberry harvest didn’t match the record-breaking one in 2016, but it was still a decent haul.

Whatcom County farm workers harvested 68.3 million pounds of raspberries this year, according to data from the Washington Red Raspberry Commission. That’s the fourth-highest harvest for Whatcom County in the past 17 years.

Last year, the record total for the area was 73.9 million pounds.

While the harvest total was solid, the price farmers have been getting for the raspberries has been dropping. According to the commission, the field price has dropped from $1.42 a pound in 2015 to 78.5 cents in 2017.

In an Oct. 23 Capital Press article, Henry Bierlink, executive director of the raspberry commission, said the rise in imported raspberries has had an impact on U.S. prices.

Bierlink was not immediately available for comment for this story.

Raspberries are a big part of Whatcom’s agricultural industry and the local harvest represents most of the U.S. crop – according to the commission, around 95 percent of the nation’s raspberry crop is from Washington state. This year nearly 98 percent of Washington’s crop came from Whatcom County.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

RASPBERRY HARVESTS THROUGH THE YEARS

A look at the raspberry harvest totals for Whatcom County. Data is from the Washington Red Raspberry Commission:

2017: 68.3 million pounds

2016: 73.9 million pounds

2015: 50.5 million pounds

2014: 68.6 million pounds

2013: 62.7 million pounds

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