Okanagan orchardists hoping cold didn’t injure crops

Area farmers are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward how this winter’s prolonged frigid weather may have affected their crops.

  • Jan. 11, 2017 2:00 p.m.

Area farmers are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward how prolonged frigid weather may have affected their crops.

“Cherries can handle up to 30 C, so we think we’re OK because we didn’t break any records,” said Fred Steele, president of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association.

“The advantage we have is we’ve had a considerable amount of snow and that’s insulation that protects the root systems. If we were talking minus 24 to 25 without insulation I’d be much more concerned.”

What the weather has really done, that growers know for sure, is throw off schedules.

“The guys can’t get out and prune, right now,” said Steele.

“A number of people got out when the weather was good, but there are others who didn’t and they can’t go because it’s too cold, so they’ll be rushed in the spring.

“The cold snap that ushered in the new year saw temperatures fall to -20.5 C, which is well below average temperatures that range from 0.6 C and -7.6 C.

“It’s definitely been cold the last few days, there have been some really cold starts to the morning,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau.

“We’ve had a ridge of high pressure that was sitting over B.C., keeping things fairly clear with some small patches of cloud.”

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