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USA - Farmers expect partial loss to raisin crop after summer storm sweeps across Valley

Farmers love seeing rain, but when it comes at the wrong time it could be detrimental especially for sensitive crops like raisins.

This is the time of year when raisin grapes are left out to dry, and any moisture could damage the crop. So, when Monday night’s sudden storm hit the Valley, some growers went into panic mode.

“A lot of people don’t think about it but a whole year’s worth coming down to 10 minutes of worth rain,” Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno County Farm Bureau said.

Jacobsen says raisin grapes are susceptible to rain because they come in contact next to the ground when they are left on paper trays in the field to be dried into raisins.

“It can wipe out an entire raisin crop,” he said. “What it does to most crops is it kicks up that sand and puts it on top of the raisin. The raisin continues to dry and then you got some embedded sand. It’s just another cost you have to go through to get it ready for market, not really good for this time of year.”

“There’s going to be some loss, there’s no question about that,” said Dwayne Cardoza, chairman of the Raisin Bargaining Association “Total loss? No.”

Cardoza says inventory left over from last year will help fill the gaps of any crop loss as a result of Monday’s brief but heavy storm.

“We’ll get this crop made,” he said. “As an industry, we’ve got the crop made, if there are a few problems, our packers will fix those problems and get a quality product in the bag. Any farmer you talk to the biggest thing we contend with is mother nature.”

Source – http://abc30.com

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