Okanagan farmers seeing losses in apple crops following heat wave | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan farmers seeing losses in apple crops following heat wave

File. Okanagan apples.
July 28, 2021 - 1:00 PM

A third-generation Oliver farmer who lost much of his cherry crop during the record-setting heat wave says he wants to remain passionate about the family business while weighing the realities of climate change.

Pravin Dhaliwal says 40 per cent of the apples at the farm in Oliver were also sunburned in the scorching temperatures that recently hit 41.5 degrees Celsius.

"It's devastating," said Dhaliwal, 23, who decided to carry on with the 16-hectare family farm two years ago after finishing a business degree at the University of British Columbia.

He says insurance that's part of a joint provincial-federal program won't be enough to even cover expenses.

But he says the impact of the current weather conditions should qualify as a disaster so farmers in B-C and elsewhere get the government support they need.

British Columbia's Agriculture Ministry said growers can buy insurance to cover crop yield with a 20 per cent deductible as part of a joint program with the federal government for the loss of fruit and some plants damaged by weather.

Brent Preston, a founding member of Farmers for Climate Solutions, agrees that the future of farming will depend partly on some subsidies that allow farmers to implement practices that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He adds the cost of not taking action will add up for governments and those frustrated in an increasingly challenging livelihood.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says it's working with the provinces affected by extreme weather to respond to the evolving drought situation.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2021
The Canadian Press

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