Canada: Fruit crops in British Columbia are suffering

Published Aug 13, 2021

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Fruit growers in British Columbia, like farmers in many regions of the country, are battling a difficult growing season. A phenomenon called a heat dome brought extreme heat in June, and although temperatures have eased somewhat since, drought and wildfires continue to hamper growth and harvest efforts of various fruits. Glen Lucas, general manager of BC Fruit Growers’ Association, said so far, the heat has mainly affected cherries.

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“The early-season cherries appear to have suffered about 50 to 70 percent damage,” he said. “The mid-late season cherries, which are harvested until the end of August, appear to have suffered less damage, about 10 percent, but that is variable.” Apples are harvested in September and October, so it is less clear on how they have been affected. However, Lucas said apples could see two types of damage. “One is sunburn, and that’s where a part of the apple is actually scorched, it’s baked,” Lucas said. “And those apples are in the direct sunlight and then typically fall off after a few days. So there will be some crop loss from that.” “The other type of damage is sun browning and that’s not always obvious depending on the colour of the apple and how bad the sun browning is, how much damage it’s caused. Those apples typically don’t fall off the tree so it becomes a problem judging are the apples damaged or not, and to what extent that damage will impact the storability of the apples.” ...
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