Heavy rains damage local cherry crops

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by HONORA SWANSON & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 5:34 AM

MEAD, Wash. -- Heavy rains caused many cherries to split in local farms.

“The rain hits the cherry, goes in that little dimple,” explained Ronda Bosma, the owner of Cherry Hill. “It absorbs into the cherry. As the cherry gets sweeter and riper, the cherry’s skin can handle only so much expansion. It’ll split.”

Farmers that don’t have windmills to dry their crop just have to deal with the loss of their product. Bosma estimated about ten percent of her cherries have split due to the rain. Some remained edible however.

“Sometimes what happens now is the cherry as it ripens, it’ll heal and you can still eat it,” said Bosma.

It is not only the cherry season hurt by the rain however. Many Green Bluff farmers said that they lost from a third to their entire crop from the late freeze in April.

“We had a freeze and it got down to about 26 degrees, which freezes the bloom and you can’t even get a cherry after that,” Bosma said. She remained optimistic though.

Bosma said there are still plenty of cherries for the upcoming festival in July. She also said that the hot temperatures expected should ripen the fruit.

Other northwest farms saw affects of the rains also. Yakima and Oregon both reported losing anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of their cherries.

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