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Kelowna  

Smoke protected apples

Alanna Kelly

After the worst B.C. fire season in history, smoke in the Okanagan has actually helped this fall's apple harvest. 

B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association president Fred Steele said the curse for some was a blessing for orchardists. 

“When you get temperatures like we had in the high 30s low 40s over a prolonged period of time, trees begin to shut down, so we actually had a few size problems in some areas, depending on soils and how you are lined up to the sun in your rows,” said Steele.

Despite the heat being an issue, wildfire smoke gave some protection to the apples.

“The smoke was actually an advantage because it kept the temperatures down and it kept the heavy rays down," he said, explaining how apples can get sun burned in prolonged periods of hot, sunny weather.

This year's picking season is about one week behind average, but not late, said Steele.

The harvest is going quite smoothly, he said, noting growers are getting ready to do a second pick on the gala crop. 



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