NEWS

Okanagan cherry crop threatened by recent heavy rain

07/25/2014 10:37 EDT | Updated 09/24/2014 05:59 EDT
The heavy rain that hit southern B.C. earlier this week has sent cherry producers in the Okanagan scrambling to save their crops.

- Read more about the storm and the clean-up

U-pick farmer Allan Arndt says all the moisture causes the cherries to split open, and is threatening to ruin the crop right at the peak of a great cherry season.

"The problem with rain is they can just bust right open, which as you can see right here. It's already starting to do it. The cherry itself can only take so much water and then that's it. It goes," he says.

Arndt says he may take his air-sprayer out to blow the rain off his crop. He's also hoping Mother Nature helps out with a bit of free wind.

Others are hiring helicopters to fly low over their orchards to blow the moisture off the trees, at a cost of several hundred dollars an hour. Farmer Sonia Sandhu says they have to do whatever they can to save the crop.   

"It's a huge concern, because the crop that needs to come off right now is the most vulnerable. The bigger the cherry the faster it will crack with the water."

Either way, they say it will take a few days to determine how extensive the crop is damaged.

                               

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