Okanagan weather splits cherries damaging projected record season

Posted November 21st, 2018 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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It started out as a record cherry season, with the fruit growing faster than average and expected to be on store shelves not only earlier than usual but also in more abundance.

WATCH BELOW: Record-breaking Okanagan heat could mean record cherry crop

In early May, B.C. Tree Fruits predicted a 12-million pound crop of cherries; however, due to the sudden change in weather in recent weeks, that prediction has not materialized.

“In some blocks, I’m hearing upwards of 50 to 80 per cent damage,” president of the B.C. Cherry Association, Sukhpaul Bal said.

Too much heat and consistent, heavy rainfall are blamed for the damaged crop.

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    “We don’t want the cherry to absorb that water. If it absorbs too much [water], the skin tears and splits and it’s unsellable,” Bal said.

    Some growers even try using helicopters to dry the fruit after rainfall.

    “A helicopter with a down shaft shakes up the tree, the branches get the water off and the helicopter does it quite fast,” Bal said.

    But despite such efforts, the impact on Okanagan cherry crops has still been significant.

    Cherry exports at B.C. Tree Fruits have also seen a dramatic decrease according to the CEO, Alan Tyabji.

    He says the lucrative fruit is the largest export in terms of dollar value for the cooperative, and because there are less cherries, the price is higher. Which means, the co-op’s financial hit won’t be as high as it could have been.

    Watch above as Global News speaks to both Tyabji and Bal about the impact on this year’s cherry crop and takes a behind the scenes look at the cooperative’s cherry line in full operation.

    Visualization by Graphiq

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