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Cherry Harvest begins in northern Michigan

Even though growers are expecting to harvest good crops, there is uncertainty about what the prices will be.

ANTRIM COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Cherry Harvest in northern Michigan has started.

Cherry growers and researchers say that while the weather this year has led to smaller cherries, the cherry crop is still good.

"I believe it's a little larger crop because of the spring we had. We had a nice warm spring, no frost occurences during the bloom period," said Doug White, a cherry grower.

Nikki Rothwell, a specialist at the MSU Extension, says the lack of rain this year is one reason for the smaller cherries.

"It's always fingers crossed as we get to harvest time. We want to come through with high quality fruit. Even if it happens to be on the small side I think growers are pleased with their quality thus far," said Rothwell.

However, according to Rothwell, less rain can also mean a lower risk of disease.

Even though growers are expecting to harvest good crops, there is uncertainty about what the prices will be.

"We kinda think of ourselves as cherry capital of the world. But we have to remember we're in a global marketplace now and there's lot of other people producing things like cherries and so Turkey has been a concern for our growers for many many reasons and one is the recent imports, particularly in concentrate," said Rothwell.

Growers like White are also expressing their concerns.

"Everyone has put in a lot of time, hard work to produce a nice cherry crop. But the prices are not reflective of that," said White.

The harvesting of cherries in Northern Michigan will likely go until the middle of August.

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