Pay-off time

Photo by Bob Story



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The pay-off has arrived early for most grape growers in the Lower Yakima Valley. Here at the Paul Burma vineyard near Sunnyside a crew works yesterday collecting the thick clusters of Concord grapes. Burma said this same time last year he was just starting the local harvest. However, Burma and his crew are nearly finished with picking this year’s crop. The 2014 Washington state Concord grape crop produced 260,000 tons of juice, according to the USDA. Similar figures are expected from this year’s crop. Among those pictured harvesting the fruit this past Wednesday are (above) Javier Valencia piloting the picking machine and Manuel Casas on the tractor that is following alongside. At right, aboard the tractor that is pulling one of the two gondolas that were used yesterday to collect the grapes, is Hector Zuniga.



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