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Okanagan cherry crops may be left to rot

August 9, 2012  By The Canadian Press

August 9, 2012, Penticton, BC – Farmers in B.C.’s South Okanagan region were predicting a bumper cherry crop this year but recent wind storms have dashed those hopes.

The storms destroyed trees and knocked much of the nearly-ripe fruit to the ground, bruising what remained on the branches.

B.C. Fruit Growers Association director Nirmal Dhaliwal says prices for cherries have dropped from a high of 70 cents per pound to as little as 40 cents per pound.


He says that is well below the 50-cent cost growers pay to harvest the fruit.

Dhaliwal says the collapse of the southern Okanagan cherry crop follows three years of bad apple prices and he believes this is the toughest blow to cherry farmers in his 22 years in the industry.

He predicts most farmers will have to walk away from their crops and let them rot on the ground.

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