BC Freeze Pt 1

BC Freeze Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, this is today’s Fruit Grower Report. Severe damage from a polar vortex that hit British Columbia in January was a hot topic at the recent British Columbia Fruit Grower convention.

Creston Valley grower Frank Wolka says it’s the most extensive mid-winter bud-kill he’s ever seen …

WOLKA … “It was more or less what you would call a perfect storm, the most extensive freeze-damage I’ve ever experienced in my life. Every one of those samples showed 100 per cent bud-kill, and that was on peaches, on apricots, on cherries.”

Peter Simonsen, president of the BC Fruit Grower’s

Association, says an emergency government insurance program is in place, but the extensive tree and vine damage will force many growers to replant and start from scratch …

SIMONSEN … “We’re kind of almost beyond the point of no return. There is an emergency program called Agri-Recovery. It was used during the Fraser Valley flood. It will allow growers to, hopefully, do some replanting, and compensate for some of the losses.”

Remi Cardinal, owner of the Red Bird Winery says there will be no grapes for wine …

CARDINAL … “It’s a full year of no wine making. We still have all the infrastructure, the staff to pay, but we don’t have this revenue for next year. This is the year to buy local. Don’t go to the big chains to buy local, buy from the growers, from the farmers.”

Temperatures across the southern B.C. interior dipped to nearly 25 degrees below zero between January 11 and 13.

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