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Smaller cherry crop with fruit cracking in Michigan

A fruit marketer expects this year’s cherry crop to be about half compared to last season.

Don Armock, President of Riveridge Produce Marketing in Sparta, Michigan, tells Brownfield poor pollination and too much rain in recent weeks has led to some quality issues for growers in West Michigan.  “Cherries do not enjoy water when it gets close to harvest.  It causes cracking either from water being absorbed into the fruit or we get a different kind of cracking that comes from the roots absorbing and pushing the cherries in size.”

He says the fresh cherry market should be slightly better than last year because harvest in the Western U.S. is expected on a more normal timeframe.  “Even though nationwide the crop is bigger than last year, the timing is more spread out.  Last year the western crop was more compressed in terms of a harvest period so there was some pressure on the market.”

Armock says cherry harvest is wrapping up in the Grand Rapids region and will run for about two more weeks around Traverse City.

AUDIO: Interview with Don Armock

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