Southwest Michigan Tart Cherries Hit Hard By Storm, Farmer Loses Crop

MATTAWAN — The string of thunderstorms that moved through southern Michigan Monday likely hit the region's tart cherry crop hard, said Mark Longstroth, Michigan State University Extension educator.

The crop was just ready for harvest, Longstroth said.

A windstorm at that time is especially damaging because trees laden with fruit can easily snap, and the fruits themselves are tender and easily damaged.

Bill Schultz, owner of Schultz Fruitridge Farms about half a mile south of Mattawan, said his check of his orchard's 36-acre tart-cherry block after the storm showed "cherries got whipped badly.

"My past experience tells me they will all rot from wind whip, 100 percent."

To read the rest of the story, please go to: The Kalamazoo Gazette