The tart cherry harvest is in full swing across the State of Michigan. Harvest started in Southwest Michigan on June 24th, which is a record early start. This year we are a good two weeks ahead of normal, with a lighter-than-normal crop. West Central and Northwest Michigan both came on line this week with both production regions bunched up. The weather has been a bit wild with lots of strong winds (80 mph) and rain in our southern regions about two weeks ago with power outages and down trees. This is always a challenge for growers just before harvest. The central and northern regions were not hit by the storm. We expect to be completely through harvest by the end of July this year, which is unheard of here in Michigan. I was in Wisconsin last week, and they are not far behind. Pennsylvania is already done. Sweet Cherry Harvest has been underway now for two weeks and will be winding up next week.

The National Cherry Festival kicks off in Traverse City tomorrow. The Blue Angels are in town tearing up the sky in preparation for the air show on Saturday and Sunday. Industry Day is July 6th at the Northwest Station, and Dr Amy Iezzoni is being recognized as this year’s Cherry Industry Person of the Year. She is world-renowned for her work in cherry breeding and genetics. She has spent her career working in the cherry industry and is well respected by both researchers and growers. Amy is truly a researcher who works on the basic science with an eye on the applied science and the needs of growers.

Think about it…. To be a great breeder, you have to anticipate the market, consumer, farmers’ needs, and the environment 20 years out.

Congratulations to Dr. Amy Iezzoni on this well-deserved honor.