Cool spring puts freeze on cherry crop - abc27 WHTM

Cool spring puts freeze on cherry crop

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

Homegrown and fresh-picked fruit is second to none, but if you love cherries you could be in trouble.

A harsh winter and a cool start to spring have clobbered the crop, and if you haven't already picked your own you may have to wait until next year.

"Pick your own cherries just ended last night, there just wasn't enough to make it worth it for folks to come out into the orchard," said Dave Brown of Brown's Orchards.

"Generally, you should see six or seven in a cluster hanging all through the branches, and right now each branch only has about 10 percent left on them after that freeze in April."

Brown's grows both sweet and sour cherries, and both took a hit.

"The buds just never formed fully and produced the fruit," Brown said. "It was a very unusually light crop and I think it's the first time in a long time we would lose an entire sour or tart cherry crop."

Prices at Brown's Orchards are at $4.95 a pint, a little north of of what customers would prefer.

"Most of our fruits and vegetables are going up in price as it is," said Pam Shannon of Red Lion.

Shannon shops at Brown's Orchards but says this time she stayed away from the cherries.

"I won't buy them if the prices are going up," she said.

With scarce orchards, markets will be forced to buy more from out-of-state to fulfill the high demand.

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