Jun 30, 2005
CIAB Sets Free, Restricted Percentages for Tart Cherries

The Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB) recommended June 23 that the free percentage for tart cherries be set at 71 and the restricted percentage be set at 29.

The CIAB, which administers the national marketing order for red tart cherries, set the percentages at its annual marketing policy meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich. The percentages are calculated using the USDA’s estimate of harvest, as required by the Optimum Supply Formula (OSF), and take into account market growth and other economic adjustments. The percentages continue in effect until changed by the CIAB.

The USDA released its official crop estimate projecting a national crop of 244 million pounds of red tart cherries. The CIAB evaluated the supply of and demand for red tart cherry products, considering such factors as the average annual sales of tart cherry products, the carry-in of product from previous years and the desirable carry-out of product for the following season.

The board, using the OSF as set forth in the order, calculated the percentage of the current year’s production that is free tonnage and that which is restricted. Free tonnage is production of the current year that can be marketed without any restrictions. Restricted tonnage is that which must either be retained by handlers in inventory or diverted by handlers into other markets.

Final percentages will be recommended to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns in September based on actual production. Upon the conclusion of the tart cherry harvest, CIAB will reconvene to recommend the final free and restricted percentages.

The CIAB meeting to determine the final percentages will be held Sept. 9.

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