Smaller cherry crop in Michigan caused by May freeze

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s cherry crop is expected to be down this year following freezing temperatures in May.

MLive.com reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Great Lakes Regional Office says the state’s tart cherry production is forecast to be 34 percent less than last year. Sweet cherry production is projected for a 47 percent drop.

Farms in northern and central Michigan lost significant amounts of tart cherries to the freeze, but the USDA says southwestern Michigan fared better.

This year’s projected cherry production numbers put the yield for tart cherries at 134 million pounds and sweet cherries at 15,900 tons.

Sandy Rennie, owner of Rennie Orchards in Williamsburg, tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle that farmers earlier thought they would get too many cherries, but that changed with the frost.

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