Rain cracking limits sweet cherry production worldwide. Cracking is often assessed in laboratory assays, where detached fruit is submerged in water. Scientists at Leibniz University Hannover compared cracking of detached fruit that were submerged in water with fruit that remained attached to the tree, but were exposed to simulated rain or fruit that were detached, placed in a wire cage and positioned in the canopy and were exposed to simulated rain.
Cherry growers are trying to stop the spread of a disease that can decimate their crops, known as “little cherry disease.” Trees with a little cherry disease produce a small, pale, lower-sugar fruit that can’t be sold. Northwest Cherry Growers, an industry group, expects the loss of 2.5 to 3 million boxes of fruit this year because of the disease.
The European market is currently short of cherries, mostly due to the impact of the weather in producing areas of Portugal, Italy, France and Spain, such as the Jerte Valley, in Extremadura, as well as in Aragon, Alicante and Lleida. “In the Jerte Valley, although we have started marketing the earliest varieties both domestically and for export, we have had a month with abundant rainfall and hail.
"Due to the return of cold weather in the last ten days of March and in early April, an average reduction of about 35-40% on the entire Apulian production is expected for the 2020 cherry campaign. With damage of up to 70% the early Bigarreau variety was the most affected, especially where efforts were made to get the plant to bear fruit early.
A warm winter with a late frost devastated many local cherry growers this year, adding another year to the string of difficult growing seasons cherry farmers have experienced recently. The Kern County Department of Agriculture is in the process of requesting a declaration of emergency from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A survey of local farmers by the county Agriculture Department revealed a 77 percent loss in overall production, equating to about $50 million in financial losses.
The cherry acreage of the Belgische Fruitveiling, or BFV, has shown a rising line for years. The importance of covered production in particular is increasing. This year the cooperative expects a short and challenging season. The cherry season once again started for the BFV mid-June. The harvesting period is less long than usual this year because of the shorter flowering season.
Hailstones the size of ‘‘chocolate Lindt balls’’ hammered down on a Longford, Victoria berry business last Thursday 28 January, causing at least $20,000 in crop losses. Longford Berries is a small local operation that produces gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries and owner Dennis Betts said they had lost most of the crop. The operation supplies a small amount of fruit to Youngs Vegie Shed but Mr Betts said mostly it had become a local and tourist ‘‘pick your own’’ berry attraction.
Boysenberries will be wiped from the Christmas menu for most New Zealand homes after a hailstorm ripped through the nation's largest orchard in the Nelson region. The storm that tore across the Motueka district, the Waimea Plains and its foothills yesterday was a double whammy for some orchardists who suffered similar crop devastation little more than a year ago. The Met Service has also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Nelson and says there might be more damaging hail on the way. It covers the Nelson district, Motueka and Golden Bay.