Michigan Cherry Farmer’s Greatest Fear Has Become A Reality
While the warm weather may have been enjoyable for us, it has tricked our cherries and apples into blooming a bit too early. Why is that a problem? Well, the warm weather really wasn't the problem but the colder temperatures are night are the problem.
Michigan's tart cherry crop is expected to be significantly harmed by the warm March weather that caused trees to bloom early, as well as the current cold weather that is killing cherry buds.
Adam Dietrich, one cherry farmer, who continues to watch the weather forecast closely and wants the temperatures overnight to stay above 30 degrees. If that does not happen then there could be more frost damage to the remaining cherry buds in the orchards. Some Muskegon cherry farmers have suffered little damage. Cherry farmers near Traverse City have not been so lucky and are reporting massive crop damage. Lows there last week went below 20 degrees. Some farmers are saying most of their cherry crop is gone. These people count on this to support their own families throughout the year.
Adam Dietrich, a cherry farmer says, "When you are at 19 degrees a few nights in a row you have to expect some type of catastrophic loss. We are not expecting to harvest this summer because of the loss."
Michigan's tart cherry crop is the biggest in the nation. In 2011 Michigan growers produced almost ten times more cherries than any other state.