Jul 5, 2012
Fewer cherry farms in Michigan

There were 450 Michigan farms growing tart cherries in 2011, down from 540 in 2006 and 615 in 2000, according to recent reports from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Despite the shrinking number of farms, the state’s tart cherry acreage has held steady at 32,000 since 2003. The number of farms with 99 acres or fewer shrank from 538 in 2000 to 368 in 2011, while the number of farms with 100 acres or more held fairly steady, according to the reports.

There were 400 Michigan sweet cherry farms in 2011, down from 470 in 2006 and 525 in 2000, according to the reports.

From 2000 to 2011, the state’s sweet cherry acreage shrank from 9,000 to 7,200. There were fewer farms growing sweet cherries in every acreage category, but the decrease was most obvious in the 9 acres-or-less category, which shrank from 280 farms in 2000 to 215 in 2011, according to the reports.

The leading sweet cherry varieties in the state in 2011 were Gold and Emperor Francis, at 1,810 acres and 1,460 acres, respectively. Ulster was in the third position, with 890 acres, according to the reports.

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