Michigan Cherry Growers Getting New Crop Insurance Options

August 30, 2012

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says Michigan’s cherry growers are getting new crop insurance options.

The Michigan Democrat serves as head of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. She announced details of the expanded options on Aug. 28.

According to Stabenow’s office, insurance for sweet cherry growers previously was offered in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. She says it now will be offered to sweet cherry growers in Antrim, Benzie, Manistee, Mason, and Oceana counties, and insurance options are being developed for tart cherry growers.

Currently, there is no crop insurance available for tart cherries.

Tree fruit growers in Michigan sustained devastating losses this year when a hard freeze followed an early thaw, wiping out much of the year’s tart cherry crop and heavily damaging the sweet cherry crop. At the time, Stabenow says many of them didn’t have access to federal crop insurance.

“No farmer should be wiped out because of a few bad days of weather, and this new coverage will help Michigan’s growers manage their losses without losing the farm,” said Stabenow in the announcement released by her office.

“There’s no question it’s been a tough season for cherry growers, with many losing over 90 percent of their crop,” said Phil Korson, President of the Cherry Marketing Institute.