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USDA to buy $15 million dollars of tart cherries from domestic farmers

Flickr User Gaetano Virgallito

The Federal Government will buy $15 million dollars of tart cherries from U-S farmers.

They will be used in federal food programs like school lunches.

The deal is meant to give short-term relief to the U-S cherry market, which has faced stiff foreign competition.

Ben LaCross is a cherry farmer in Leelanau.

“While this is a small little Band-Aid and it helps the cherry industry… we still need to fix the systemic issue of low-cost subsidized cherries coming in from Turkey.”

Turkish tart cherry products sell for half the price of domestic ones in some cases.

Cherry Farmers in Michigan account for 75 percent of the country’s tart cherries.

Last month, legislation was introduced in the U-S Senate that could levy tariffs on Turkish cherries.