Cherry pickin' in full swing at Stockton plant

local@modbee.comJune 4, 2013 

STOCKTON -- Morada Produce on Jack Tone Road in Stockton is in full swing processing this year's cherry crop.

The company gets fruit from Bakersfield all the way north to Stockton. Other times of the year, it processes onions, peppers and walnuts.

Morada recently put into use a Unical 200 Cherry Vision electronic sorter — the largest in the world, company officials say. It processes 25 tons an hour.

The season, which begins near the end of April, comes to a close about this time in June. During cherry season, Morada employs about 1,200 people, mostly from Stockton, Modesto, Turlock and Merced. The company exports about 45 percent of its cherries outside the United States.

San Joaquin County is by far the state's leader in cherry production, with about 28,000 tons and $89.2 million in gross income in 2011, according to the county crop report. Stanislaus County recorded 8,700 tons, while the Merced County crop was too small to be reported.

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