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Cherry TreeTwo main types of cherries are produced in the United States: sweet cherries and tart or “sour” cherries.

Washington, California and Oregon are the primary sweet cherry producing states, accounting for 97 percent of the quantity produced nationwide in 2012 (NASS 2013). In recent years, about 75 percent of the sweet cherries produced have been destined for the fresh market, with the remaining 25 percent used for processing.

The primary tart cherry producing state is generally Michigan, which typically accounts for nearly 90 percent of tart cherry production. In 2012, however, the state's cherry crop dropped to 11.6 million pounds, due to unfavorable weather. As a result, Utah was the top tart cherry producer, with 40 million pounds, followed by Washington, with 24.8 million pounds.  (NASS 2013)

With regard to tart cherries, 99 percent of production is used for processing, with the majority processed as a frozen product (NASS 2013). The remainder are canned or used for juice, wine, brined and dried products.  September 2013 ...  Cherries



  • Cherry, Integrated Pest Management guidelines, University of California, Davis.
  • Cherry Production, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA - This report contains the mid-June production forecast for U.S. tart and sweet cherries.
  • Commodity Highlight: Cherries, Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA, 2012, p. 31 - The United States maintains its rank as the No. 1 cherry exporter globally, accounting for almost a quarter of the world’s average export volume during 2005-09 and around one-third the average of world cherry export value. The United States leads in both volume and value of cherry exports—averaging 117 million pounds in 2005-09 and valued at $261.4 million.
  • Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System, ERS, USDA.
  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook and Yearbook, ERS, USDA.
  • Michigan Cherries, Michigan State University - This page links to other university resources for sweet and tart cherries.
  • Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts, NASS, USDA.
  • PlantFacts, Ohio State University - This Web site provides a full-text search engine of all extension and academic department information from all land-grant universities in the United States. Additionally, there are significant image and video databases, a FAQ database and a glossary.
  • Postharvest Information Network, Washington State University - This features information on topics such as cherry quality, marketing, packaging and storage.
  • Sample Costs to Establish an Orchard and Produce Sweet Cherries, University of California Cooperative Extension, 2012 - This online guide provides sample costs for establishing a cherry orchard using sprinkler irrigation in California.

Businesses/Case Studies

  • 75 Years Strong: Oregon Cherry Co-op, Rural Cooperatives, USDA Rural Development, 2008 - Oregon Cherry Growers remains a giant in maraschino cherry production and annually packs thousands of tons of fresh cherries. In recent years, the co-op has branched into producing infused dried cherries and blueberries.
  • Cherry Central, Traverse City, Michigan - Located in the cherry capital of the world, this company is owned by member cooperatives representing growers in Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Utah and Washington.
  • Chukar Cherries, Prosser, Washington - This case study, prepared by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service in 2001, describes Chukar's growth and development, focusing on their entry into the dried foods specialty market.
  • Falcon Orchard, Sister Bay, Wisconsin - This "you-pick" and "we-pick" fresh cherry orchard features a craft store that sells country-folk-art-related gift items. Cherries are available in season, and the operation stresses the camaraderie of picking fruit together. Other fun activities and amusements include a seed-spitting range and life-size soft-sculpture figurines.
  • Irons Fruit Farm, Lebanon, Ohio - This farm raises tart cherries, along with apples, berries, pumpkins, sweet corn and vegetables. The farm offers you-pick produce, a seasonal bakery and gift room, fall tours and hayrides.
  • King Orchards Cherry Juice Concentrate, Central Lake, Michigan - This farm processes and markets its own tart cherry juice and dried cherries using its own label.
  • Seaquist Orchards, Sister Bay, Wisconsin - This fifth-generation operation processes cherries in its own processing plant. Pressed cider and cherry juice are processed on the farm.
  • Shaw Orchards, Stewartstown, Pennsylvania - This orchard has been in operation for seven generations. In addition to tart and sweet cherries, the orchard is also noted for its apples and peaches. A variety of fruits, vegetables and homemade jams and jellies are also marketed directly to customers.
  • Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm, Eau Claire, Michigan - The farm grows more than 15 varieties of sweet cherries as well as tart cherries. You-pick customers can have their fresh picked cherries pitted while at the farm. Tree-Mendus also is host to the “world famous” International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship the first Saturday in July.

Links checked August 2014.


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