SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (WWJ) – The bitter, record-busting cold winter and some frosts this spring have taken a bit of a toll on Michigan’s cherry crop.
Don Gregory, president of Cherry Bay Orchards in Suttons Bay in northern Michigan, says nearly 5 percent of the crop was damaged over the winter.
“In some real low orchards it got pretty cold; it got down, probably to 20 below zero,” Gregory told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Beth Fisher. “And we ended up, at that point, starting to damage some buds on cherry trees. Not a very large amount of buds that were damaged, but there were some.”
Then, more recently, Gregory said, there was another freezing spring night or two when farmers lost “a few” more.
Although he predicts Michigan can still look forward to a pretty good crop of cherries this year.
Gregory said the cherry blossoms will continue to develop over the next couple of months, with harvesting getting underway after July 4th.
“But overall we still consider it a pretty normal year — not a lot of damage — but we’ve still got a ways to go,” he said. “The next two weeks are pretty critical. If the weather stays relatively normal and mild, and if we don’t get super cold temperatures, we should be alright.”