U.S.: 2018 cherry crop forecast down by a quarter

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U.S.: 2018 cherry crop forecast down by a quarter

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast the country's sweet cherry crop down by a quarter year-on-year in 2018, with Michigan the only-top four production state to see an increase. 

A report by the organization's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) estimated this year's crop would be 320,000 metric tons (MT), 26% lower than last season's 433,000MT.

The report included information from Washington, California, Oregon and Michigan, with the forecasts completed on June 1.

Washington's crop is forecast 16% lower at 215,000MT, while California's crop is for the biggest percentage decline of 64% to 36,000MT. Meanwhile, Oregon is estimated to fall by 25% to 45,000MT, while Michigan's crop is forecast to increase by 27% to 24,000MT.

"In Washington and Oregon, cool and wet weather and an extended bloom hampered pollination and led to a lighter fruit set of early varieties. Growers were concerned about the extent of fruit drop in early varieties through harvest," the report said.

"In California, growers reported a warm winter across the State and damaging frost over several days in late February, followed by heavy rains in March that impacted much of the crop.

"In Michigan, growers were expecting an above average crop. Weather conditions were reported as favorable, as higher temperatures promoted a quick blooming period during late spring."


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