Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science and Environment

Michigan tart cherry farmers expecting small harvest in 2021


For the second year in a row, Michigan’s tart cherry farmers are expecting a small harvest.It’s expected to be similar to last year’s crop, which was less than half as much as 2019’s crop.

Allen Steimel is the general manager at Leelanau Fruit Company.

He says low rainfall Up North is stunting the cherries’ growth.

“The drought, it’s gonna affect the size of the individual fruit. What we’re seeing right now is the cherries look fairly small.”

To make matters worse, early warming in March followed by repeated frosts, results in less cherries on the trees.

Many farmers don’t have a lot left in their frozen stock after a bad 2020 harvest so there could be a tart cherry shortage this year.