Utah's apple and tart cherry production was down sharply in 1988, a year in which farmers had to deal with the effects of below-normal precipitation, says the Utah Agricultural Statistics Service.

In 1987, the Beehive State set rec-ords for its apple and tart cherry crops, but last year total production was 40 million pounds of apples - 41 percent less, said state statistician Delroy Gneiting.Tart cherry production totaled 11 million pounds, 42 percent less than 1987's record production. Pear production was 2,000 tons, 44 percent below 1987 levels.

However, sweet cherry production, at 2,000 tons, was 11 percent more than in 1987; apricot production reached 1,200 tons, up 9 percent; and the peach crop, at 11 million pounds, was 5 percent above the previous year.