Mar 13, 2012
Massive winter storm hurts tart cherry growers

Area cherry farmers reported widespread damage to orchards. Older tart cherry trees took the brunt.

Overall damage estimates range from a low of 5 percent to a high of 20 percent of the cherry crop in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Antrim counties, experts said.

“We got our butt kicked, said Leelanau County farmer Jeff Send. “It could equate to the loss of 15 to 20 million pounds of product, and it’s not just gone this year, it’s gone for the next 10 years.”

The storm snapped branches or leveled entire trees. Damage varied, depending on how much snow fell, Leelanau County farmer Steve Kalchik said. Traverse City Record Eagle

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