New York Field Office
"Fact Finders for Agriculture"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Marisa Reuber
Thursday, June 19 2008
CHERRY PRODUCTION DOWN
According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York office, 2008 tart cherry production is forecast at 9.2 million pounds. This forecast is 29 percent below last year’s production of 13.0 million pounds and 12 percent below the 2006 crop. Growers experienced a cold start to the season, and several reported lower crop yields due to frost damage. A few growers in the Lake Ontario fruit region also reported dry conditions and were in need of rain. Spotty areas of the Lake Ontario fruit region and Central New York escaped frost damage and reported growing degree days ahead of normal.
U.S. tart cherry production is forecast at 177 million pounds, 30 percent below the 2007 production and 33 percent below production in 2006. Michigan, the largest producing State, expects a crop of 135 million pounds, down 30 percent from the 2007 crop and 29 percent below 2006. Multiple spring freezes and wet weather during pollination hampered fruit set in the northwest and west central regions. However, growers in the southwest region were more optimistic about the crop potential.
Sweet cherry production in New York is forecast at 1,030 tons, 13 percent below the 2007 crop, but 7 percent above the 2006 crop. Across the State, many growers were affected by cold temperatures. The crop is expected to be in line with an average crop. In the Lake Ontario fruit region, many growers are reporting lower yields than last year due to frost. Some growers in this region were also affected by the May 31 hail storm. In the Hudson Valley, many growers were severely impacted by frost and lost a large percentage of their crop.
U.S. sweet cherry production is forecast at 249,580 tons, down 23 percent from 2007 and 15 percent below 2006. The Washington crop forecast of 100,000 tons is unchanged from the June Crop Production report. The forecast is 41 percent below the 2007 production and 40 percent below the 2006 production. Cool temperatures during bloom inhibited bee activity and pollination, then a mid-April frost severely damaged a large portion of the sweet cherry crop. The Michigan crop is forecast at 25,000 tons, 8 percent below 2007 production, but 25 percent higher than the 2006 crop.