THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - It continues to be a hectic week for cherry farmers in the Okanagan as the heavy rain threatens to wipe out entire crops.
In order to counteract the rain, farmers must use tactics to dry off their cherries to prevent splitting, and time is of the essence. For most farmers, this means using helicopters, an expensive strategy but well worth it, according to Gayle Krahn, director of horticulture at Coral Beach Farms in Lake Country.
“Hands down, helicopters will save a crop,” she said. Although the ground crew can use blowers, or drive tractors with attached blowers to assist, the helicopters are a must.
This year, June has been quite rainy, which has kept farmers on their toes.
Over the 2017 and 2018 season, June was quite dry and the farmers had an easier time. However, the 2016 season was a different story.
“It was probably the worst year in many years,” recalls Krahn, "maybe even on record, in terms of how much rain we had in the season.”
Despite all the rain, Krahn is optimistic.
"This week has been difficult,” she said. "But up to this point we’ve actually been pretty lucky, and next week looks bright."
To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 801-9235 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.