YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A slow start for the Washington cherry crop because of a damp spring left some stores short during the Fourth of July weekend when sales usually peak.

The Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association told the Yakima Herald-Republic that 4.8 million boxes of cherries were shipped from Washington and Oregon through the holiday weekend, compared with 6.7 million last year.

B.J. Thurlby of the Northwest Cherry Growers group says the harvest is expected to continue through the middle of August.

Northwest cherry exports account for 28 percent of worldwide sales.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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