FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The extreme heatwave and recent rain have damaged as much as 10% to 15% of the raisin crop, according to one official.

California’s long heat wave that lasted around two weeks in early September had a severe effect on the state’s raisin crop, according to Harvey Singh, Chairman of the Raisin Bargaining Association (RBA).

“The heat caused raisins to caramelize,” said Singh. Raisins caramelize when they get too hot. It turns them a dark yellow, severely affecting their quality and limiting their use.

Singh says this time of year is when a lot of grapes are laying out in the sun to dry out to become raisins and the rain can be damaging to the harvest, causing mold. Recent systems brought some showers to the state on Sunday and Monday. Sing claims the rain wasn’t as bad as growers expected but still affected many throughout the state.

The overall drought is affecting where in California grapes can grow. Singh says grapes in Bakersfield and southern parts of the state lack the water necessary to plant grapes causing farmers to leave some plots of land empty.

Raisin lovers should prepare for an uptick in prices, according to Singh. He says prices increase from $1.25 increase to $1.40. The reason behind the price hike is a number of factors, COVID and inflation are two of the many, according to Singh.

Prices farmers charge per acre have substantially gone up since 2019. In 2019, farmers sold a ton of raisins for $1,000. Now, the RBA is saying they aim to get farmers around $2,000 per ton for raisins this year.