The heat wave that affected Western Canada last week had a devastating impact on fruit crops. In the Okanagan and Fraser valleys, lots of fruit crops were damaged from being stranded in the heat. According to farmers in B.C., up to 75 per cent of some fruits were too damaged to sell fresh. The regions inflicted experienced multiple days of temperatures above 40 C.
The president of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association, Pinder Dhaliwal said around 50 to 70 per cent of cherry crops were damaged by the extreme heat. He said other fruits such as apples, apricots, and stone fruits experienced less damage. According to Dhaliwal the cherries in the orchard are brown in colour with burnt leaves and dry stems because the heat wave “cooked” them.
He added that the cherries never got a chance to cool down because nights were also unusually high temperatures. Even the cherries that look unaffected on the outside have been cooked on the inside.
David Mutz’s owner of Abbotsford farm in Fraser valley was hit badly by the heat wave. His raspberries and blueberries got to the point where “You can pull the leaves off and they just crinkle in your hands.” Mutz said. He estimates 75 per cent of his raspberries and 10 to 30 per cent of his blueberries are so damaged they can only be used for juice.
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