Jun 11, 2020
Forecast production of sweet, tart cherries forecasts down

Mother Nature’s quirks, including cold snaps, are blamed for forecasted decreases in U.S. production of tart and sweet cherry varieties.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on June 11 released statistics for 2020 U.S. cherry production.

Sweet cherries

cherries chart2

United States sweet cherry total production for 2020 is forecast at 334,000 tons, down 6% from 2019, according to the press release from NASS.

In California, growers reported sufficient chill, despite an unusually warm winter. Cool weather in March extended the fruit growing season, which led to increased expected yields compared with the previous season.

In Oregon and Washington, severe cold snaps in February and mid-March had varying impacts across the region. The later blooming varieties were well behind the rest of the crop, leading to lower expected yields, especially in Washington.

tart cherries chart

Tart cherries

tart cherry chart

United States tart cherry total production for 2020 is forecast at 197 million pounds, down 25% from the 2019 production, NASS said.

In Michigan, the largest tart cherry-producing state, an early-May frost damaged the crop throughout the State and most significantly in southwestern Michigan. Michigan tart cherry production for 2020 is forecast at 123.0 million pounds, 28% lower than the state’s 2019 production, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office.

In Wisconsin, growers reported some crop damage due to heavy winds and frost during blossom. In Washington, growers expressed some concern due to freezing temperatures.

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