Rotten Shame: Who will pick the crops?

Who will pick the crops?

Turned sweet and bright red by unusually warm spring weather, Oregon's strawberries ripened early this year into a bounteous crop of some 80 million lbs. But last week Roy Malensky, a grower in Hillsboro, Ore., who supplies berries for such products as Breyers Ice Cream and Dannon Yogurt, stood in his giant strawberry patch and mourned row upon row of darkened, spoiled fruit. His expected loss: $100,000. To the north, meanwhile, Richard Cowin, a black- cherry grower in Wapato, Wash., watched downheartedly as his crop began to shrivel in the sun.

The rotting shame developing in the Pacific Northwest last week...