Central Valley Farmers Brace for Storms, Hope for Low Impact

News

With the chance of showers and rainstorms coming in over the next couple of days, local farmers constantly have to check the forecast. 

At Chandler Farms Fiesta Grapes are grown to be sent to Sunmaid Raisin. The variety is known for strong branches and early harvest. However, when it rains the grape will crack, ooze, and eventually rot. 

“So it is more vigorous and it ripens earlier,” said Tom Chandler. “That is one of the things that we like better about it. But it is one of those things that it is not perfect and definitely gets powdery mildew bad.”

Once the crop gets the mildew, it is hard to get it off. 

“It could be significant,” said Chandler. “I mean last year, we probably lost almost half the crop to mildew.”

Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen said almost every fruit tree is in danger during rainstorms at this time of the year 

“More ripper the crop is,” said Jacobsen. “The more likely that there could be damage from this rain. So if something is a month or two from harvest, most likely it is going to be okay, but if something is ready to be harvested right not, typically it leads to greater perishability if these storms come through.”

The lack of supply to fill the demand creates a problem, higher cost. 

“You know, We are trying to grow the best crop possible and you are not gonna get the best price when you have quality issues,” said Chandler

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