Red Raspberries in the Heat Pt 1

Red Raspberries in the Heat Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The recent heat wave, on the West side of the Cascades, created an oven that raspberry growers could not have prepared for.

Henry Bierlink, Executive Director at the Washington Red Raspberry Commission, says there was really a wide range of damage done …

BIERLINK … “There’s some that are mildly hurt and there’s others that were severely hurt. And, it tended to go more by location, the farther inland the hotter it got, and it just cooked some of those berries.”

And, Bierlink says if that wasn’t bad enough …

BIERLINK … “There were certain varieties of raspberries that had less canopy to protect the berries than other varieties. So, a little bit on varieties and on location makes quite a difference.”

Berry damage, Bierlink says varied …

BIERLINK … “I was kind of looking 20 to 40, probably, in the range as a total for all berries in this area affected, but when you look at some of those fields it’s a lot more than 50%. And, there’s others that, like I say, will be maybe 5-10%.”

Bierlink says the two measures for loss are tonnage and quality …

BIERLINK … “We, you know, measure of course by volume. That’s, uh, we’re paid by the pound, but we’re also paid by the grade. And, some of those berries that were destined for IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), the high grade, where they have the most value and were severely sunburned and won’t make that grade.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the damage the heat inflicted on our Washington Red Raspberries.

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