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Late start to BC Interior growing season, but there is a cherry on top

Last year’s cold snap causes issues for apricot and peach crops

The fruit growing season for the BC Interior is about two weeks behind schedule.

The BC Fruit Growers Association explained that while blossom and harvest times can vary as much or as little as three weeks from season-to-season, 2023 is about two weeks later than usual.

According to BCFGA President Peter Simonsen, there is great promise for cherries this year, despite the fact there is expected to be a lot of variables in the weather over the next few weeks.

“Cherries were subjected to bud damage, and at present predicted to have a 10 to 20 per cent (damage). However, the remaining cherries will be larger in size, so the overall tonnage will likely not be impacted,” said Simonsen.

Meanwhile, apples and pears do not appear to have sustained much damage and could likely have a normal harvest this year.

Apricots, however, sustained bud damage due to extreme cold in November and December last year. This has the association estimating that the crop will be very light, as apricots are the most tender tree fruit.

Also, affected by the cold at the end of 2022 was the peach crop, yet the extent of the damage is dependent from orchard to orchard.

“Considering the heat dome in 2021, the extremely cold 2022 winter, and 2022’s cold, wet spring, tree fruit growers have had a wildly weather-challenging past two years. The current predictions for an almost-normal growing season in 2023 are a much-needed ray of hope for growers,” said Simonsen.

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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