In late December 2020, we checked in with Dr. Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension Specialist, on the state of our beloved cherry industry. Here are some of her highlights:
- Growers were able to pivot quickly in response to COVID-mandated hurdles working with MSU, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Michigan Farm Bureau to ensure the safety of farm workers and processors.
- Thanks to continued research and industry collaborations, there is light at the end of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) tunnel to assist with adequately managing this pest on an annual basis.
- On the trade front, the number of dried cherries coming in from Turkey has declined since the industry challenged the current import status. Work with legislators continues to help ensure an even playing field for U.S. cherry producers.
- The 2020 crop had excellent quality, and we harvested some of the most beautiful cherries we have seen in many years. We had good growing conditions that properly sized and colored the fruit, and the cherries had outstanding sugar levels.