Climate Concerns: Northeast Wisconsin cherry growers fear early bloom

Climate Concerns: Northeast Wisconsin cherry growers fear early bloom

wisconsin cherry bloom
Weather worries other States too
wisconsin cherry bloom

Cherry growers in Northeast Wisconsin are expressing growing concerns as unseasonably high temperatures grip the region in late February. The uncharacteristically warm weather, reported by various local outlets, has sparked fears of an early bloom in cherry orchards, potentially jeopardizing this year’s harvest.

While Northeast Wisconsin is renowned for its tart cherry production, the sudden onset of warm weather poses a significant threat to the delicate balance of the region’s cherry cultivation, as growers explained to NBC26

According to data from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wisconsin tart cherry production surged to 12.9 million pounds in 2022, marking a substantial 23% increase from the previous year. However, the state’s cherry industry faces unique challenges, particularly concerning sweet cherry cultivation. Wisconsin’s harsh climate traditionally limits the cultivation of sweet cherries, with Door County and Southeastern Wisconsin being notable exceptions.

In 2022, Wisconsin cherry growers collectively generated $2.6 million in fruit value, with the majority of production centered in Door County. However, the precarious nature of cherry cultivation underscores the importance of closely monitoring weather patterns and adopting adaptive strategies to mitigate risks.

As Northeast Wisconsin’s cherry growers brace themselves for the potential impacts of early bloom, stakeholders across the industry remain vigilant, emphasizing the resilience and ingenuity that define Wisconsin’s cherry-growing legacy.

The sweet cherries also present their challenges in other states.

But climate changes not only generate concern in Wisconsin. Washington and California faced the overlap of their harvests, which was also due to climatic conditions. This meant a compression of the harvest period from 90 to 30 days for Washington, a decrease in production, and market saturation.

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