Jun 19, 2009
CIAB Sets Tart Cherry ‘Restricted’ Percentage at 42

The Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB), which administers the federal marketing order governing red tart cherries, recommended that the restricted percentage of the 2009 crop be set at 42 percent. That means 113 million pounds of the estimated U.S. crop of 283.6 million pounds must be retained by handlers in inventory or diverted by handlers into other market opportunities. Unwanted cherries may be shaken onto the ground in growers’ orchards.

Perry Hedin, executive director of CIAB, said the decision was made based mostly on the USDA crop size estimate of 283.6 million pounds, which was “pretty significantly different” than the industry “guesstimate” of 301.8 million pounds.

Last year’s crop was much smaller, estimated in June at 177 million pounds.

The tart cherry industry adjusts the “restricted” percentage by the volume of cherries that must be released back to handlers to satisfy the “Market Growth Factor” provision of the order. It requires that 10 percent of the average demand be released to handlers to help build markets for tart cherries.

Using the Optimum Supply Formula set forth in the order, the board calculated the
“free” and “restricted” amounts.

“Final” percentages, determined using actual harvest figures, will be recommended to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Sept. 10.

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