April freeze following an unseasonably warm March killed the blossoms.
Stores in the heart of the nation’s biggest tart cherry producing region can’t get enough tart cherries from local orchards because 97 percent of Michigan’s crop was destroyed this year by a “freak weather pattern,” says this article on Yahoo.com.
An unseasonably warm March that caused trees to bud was followed by an April freeze that killed the blossoms.
Trees in New York and Wisconsin, which have smaller but still significant tart cherry harvests, suffered the same weather damage.
Companies such as Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor, Michigan, have raised the prices on a 1-pound bag of dried cherries from $14.50 to $18.95, and chocolate-covered cherries went from $13.95 to $16.95.
Jamie Roster, the owner of the Cherry Stop in Traverse City, Michigan raised her price for dried cherries from $10 per pound to $15.95.
“Since we’ve owned the business for the past seven years, prices have maybe gone up $1 per pound. So a $6 increase over one month is pretty phenomenal,” said Roster
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Thanks to John Reno for this link