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Cherry harvest begins in northern Michigan

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The cherry harvest has begun in northern Michigan, a week earlier than normal.

 

 

Most growers this week are harvesting sweet cherries and over the next couple of weeks will start harvesting tart.

Nikki Rothwell is the Coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center. She said the weather has played an unusual role in the timing of the harvest.

“We started out really cold-remember that April snow?-we started out really really cold so we thought we were about two weeks behind. And then with the heat we caught up so much we’re actually a week ahead. So the season’s really compressed. So we’re seeing tart cherries and sweet cherries coming into ripening at the same time.”

 

Rothwell said due to an early cherry harvest, Michigan cherries played a larger role in the National Cherry Festival than in previous years.

Michigan is the country’s leading producer of tart cherries.