By Lyonel Doherty
You know what they say about an apple a day. Not only does it keep the doctor away, it’s good for tree fruit growers, too.
Local grower Pinder Dhaliwal, president of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association, has no big complaints about this season’s harvest.
He noted that growers were able to produce good cherry crops without frost damage or devastating rain events.
“There were no major issues,” he stated.
Looking ahead, Dhaliwal anticipates the harvest of nectarines soon, and noted that summer apple harvesting, such as Sunrise, has begun.
Early prune plums are also on the horizon.
“August is a very busy month for fruit,” he pointed out.
Dhaliwal and fellow growers are keeping a close eye on the heat and its effect on fruit-bearing trees. He noted when trees get too hot they go into “shut-down mode” that affects fruit size. But he noted the smoke from wildfires has blocked out direct sunlight, which has helped keep temperatures in check.
Nirmal Dhaliwal, a director on the board of BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, said they aren’t seeing any negative impacts from the smoke this summer.
He noted this year’s cherry crop was excellent, adding there was good size and tonnage. He pointed out there was not much rain so there was no problem with splitting this summer.
“It’s one of the best years we’ve had (for cherries).”
Nirmal said the peach crop is looking good this year, and he has high hopes for the prunes and apples, too.
“We could use a little bit of rain,” he noted, and a cooling off period for the apples.