WSU researchers mechanizing Prosser cherry orchard

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PROSSER, Wash. (AP) -- More cherries are being grown in Washington but pickers are getting harder to find.

The Washington State University research center in Prosser is looking to help growers by finding more ways to do orchard work by machine.

The Tri-City Herald reports (http://is.gd/d2Xcpn) researchers showed about 150 growers some of their work on Monday on a new orchard system for cherries.

The research involves how cherry trees are trained to grow and possible methods of machine pruning and mechanical harvesting. Spraying could be replaced with piping hung over the trees.

In the last dozen years the cherry orchard acreage in Washington has doubled to about 35,000 acrea.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com