Travers City – President Joe Biden learned Saturday that many Michigan cherry growers are having a harsh season due to turbulent weather after visiting a cherry farm in Andrem County.
King Orchard co-owner John King’s daughter Juliet King McAvoy Biden, government Gretchen Whitmer and Democrat U.S. Sense told. Dean Stefano of Lansing and Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township about the drought and recent heavy rains that damaged the Chen crop.
At one point, Biden asked about the differences between the two types of cherry trees in the orchard.
King Macaulay told him that the trees were usually “full of fruit,” but some branches came down.
“It’s been a tough year,” he said, adding that farmers don’t really know how to deal with turbulent weather.
Michigan’s sour cherry crop for this season is estimated at .6 65.6 million, down 5% from 69 69.3 million harvested in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the two years marked a two-thirds drop from the 201 million pounds harvested in 2018 and a significant but significant decline from 170 pounds in 2019.
Michigan dominates the production of sour cherries.
A day-long polar tub in May froze the buds and prevented the bees from pollinating, leading to the state’s hot April catastrophic early blooms. The biggest hit of sour cherries. Nicki Rothwell, coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center, about 10 miles north of Travers City on the Lilan Peninsula, says they have already dropped by two-thirds.
This was followed by four days of rain, which ended last Sunday, which split the cherries, mainly sweet. Farmers and industrial observers used terms such as “depressing,” “catastrophic,” and “angry.”
Biden was later introduced to some cherry pickers on the farm.
After the tour, the President welcomed a crowd gathered behind the ropes as U-Big spectators, and those interested gathered there. Despite the public announcement of the president’s whereabouts, a large law enforcement presence and military flights provided clues to Biden’s trip to the farm.
Helicopter and motorcade ride to Cherry Farm after Biden landed at 12:35 pm at Cherry Capital Airport in Travers City
At the airport, Biden spoke with Whitmer and the senators, who at one point shook hands with the governor and the president, the pool report said. After the meeting broke up, Biden Travers held a detailed discussion with City Mayor Jim Carruthers.
The trip marks the third month in a row that Democratic President Michigan has visited. Republican leader Donald Trump did not run for a third term in Michigan until March 2019, more than two years after his presidency.
Biden’s recent visit is part of a nationwide tour to encourage Americans who are reluctant to recover from the corona virus and get vaccinated shots.
Grand Travers County, where Travers City is located, has the highest vaccination rates in Michigan, with 68.1% of adults aged 16 and over receiving at least one dose of cowpea vaccine – Pitton’s target is close to 70% by July 4. The statewide average has been 56.5% since Friday.
Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to make a similar trip to Detroit on Monday to promote vaccinations, but that visit was postponed over the weekend after major flooding hit the city.
Biden’s trip comes after the White House last week acknowledged that at least 70% of U.S. adults would lose their goal of vaccinating by July 4th. Instead, by Sunday, 70% of Americans 27 and older will be vaccinated.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have partially vaccinated 70% of Biden’s target, but Michigan is not on that group.
The White House mentioned bilateral Senate talks about the infrastructure spending package before the trip, but the topic was not raised during the Cherry Farm tour.
Before meeting reporters after the tour, Whitmer was asked if he had talked to Biden about infrastructure plans for Michigan.
“I am the governor of‘ repairing modest roads ’so I talk infrastructure to everyone, including the president,” he said. “We haven’t talked about specific projects, but of course with the incredible flood we experienced a week and a half ago, infrastructure is on everyone’s mind.
“What we saw (in Detroit) was a lack of investment in infrastructure along with climate change – all of our free routes were flooded within hours.”
Whitmer added with a smile, “That’s why this infrastructure package is so important. That’s why I got the President Rock Road disappointment from Mackinac Island for the President’s trip here.”
Biden last visited the Ford Motor Co truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan on May 18 and was struck by an electric F-150 lightning. Prior to that, he visited the Pfizer plant in Bordeaux, which manufactures the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Michigan in June to speak at a pop-up vaccination clinic on the Divos campus of Grand Rapids Community College.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona also visited Michigan last month to stop at community colleges in Dearborn and Warren to encourage young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and highlight Biden management’s efforts to provide two years of free college.
At this time, Biden in southeastern Michigan will not be stopped due to a major cleanup, which has closed the Interstate 94 freeway in Detroit and Dearborn, said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingel, de-Dearborn.
“There is no point in taking away valuable resources from flood relief in many communities,” Dingle told the Detroit News on Friday after visiting flood-damaged homes this morning. “He fully knows what’s going on in Michigan because I woke him up with him at the White House on Wednesday.”
Biden’s senior staff are monitoring the situation, and the president “wants to do everything he can to support it,” he said.
Employee writer Melissa I Burke and freelance writer John Barnes contributed.