Tart cherry producers and processors voted in March to continue the federal marketing order that regulates the marketing of their crop.

The results, just announced, were very favorable to the order, both in the positive votes and the high participation of both growers and processors.

A total of 293 producers and 33 processors participated. The producer participants represented 189 million pounds of production and the processor participants represented 225 million pounds. The total production of tart cherries in a normal year is about 280 million pounds.

Producers approved continuation of the order by 76 percent of the vote by number and 85 percent by volume of those voting. Processors approved continuation of the order by 74 percent of the vote by number and 74 percent by volume.

The order, in effect since 1996, regulates the handling of tart cherries grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. It authorizes the activities of the Cherry Industry Administration Board, which is involved in funding activities that build demand for tart cherries as well as regulating the supply.

The results are well above the 50 percent threshold needed to continue the order.  The next continuance referendum will take place in 2020. The mail balloting was conducted by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.