Okanagan orchard left rigid after worst season in 11 years

Lake Country’s Witzke Orchards looks to bounce back after poor weather destroys crops

An Okanagan orchard is working to recover lost crops after their worst season in the past decade.

Witzke Orchards in Lake Country grows cherries, pears, apricots and others through the year, and are experiencing the same troubles as many other local orchards with the increase of rain to start the summer.

“Cherries are splitting because of the rain and we’ve lost crops,” said Keith Barth with Witzke Orchards.

“You can’t really put a money value on the losses, and we really won’t know the damage until the season is over.”

Witzke Orchards recently lost their entire apricot crop in February after the cold snap through the month froze and destroyed the harvest. Apricots are harvested once a year, and the orchard will take a couple years to bounce back to full crop sizes.

Though they should have a smaller apricot crop next year, Barth said they lost close to $50,000 because of the damage to the apricot trees.

READ MORE: 10th year for South Okanagan Cherry Pit Contest

READ MORE: Possibly worst Okanagan cherry season in 20 years

Other orchards in the Okanagan have reported record losses in cherry crops due to splitting this year as well, with the Okanagan’s Kempf Orchards reporting to have loss 50 to 60 per cent of early cherry crops to splitting this year.

“We keep an eye on the forecast, and adapt and react as they day goes by. After each rain, we get out and dry them off,” said Barth.

“Usually, we never have rain that lasts more than 30 minutes at a time, but when (there’s) 12 hours of straight rain, there’s little hope. You really can’t predict Mother Nature.”

READ MORE: Family restores 63-year-old Okanagan boat to original glory

Though it’s not all doom and gloom for Witzke Orchards. Their pear crops are looking good this season and they know that poor seasons like 2019 rarely happen, and they are determined to bounce back.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

OHA alumna welcomed as new assistant coach for women’s varsity team

Alyssa MacMillan attended OHA from 2011 to 2016

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okangan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Okanagan dancing to the beat of many drums at the Pow Wow Between the Lakes

Day two of the Pow Wow Between the Lakes featured a vast array of dancers of all ages

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Kelm wins Okanagan Ogopogo tubbing championship

Robbie Kelm edged out Dr. Lloyd Westby to take the Great Ogopogo Bathtub race title

Osoyoos woman who threatened mom and baby with butcher knife sentenced

Sharon Constance Forner pleaded guilty to one criminal charge and was sentenced

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Most Read