BC gains as frost bites Ontario apples
Jun 7, 2012 / 5:10 am
BC residents may have been jealous over Ontario's balmy March weather, but sudden flash freezes in the province have caused devastating losses to tender fruit and apple crops.
About 40 kilometres southwest of Owen Sound, Port Elgin orchardist Steve Smith says there are no blossoms on his tress, which means there will be no apples.
Around 80 per cent of the province's apple crop has been affected along with 30 to 40 per cent of peaches, while cherry and plum crops maybe completely devastated, according to initial assessments by fruit industry groups.
Growers won’t know the impact on the grape crop until later in June.
Here in the Okanagant, BC Fruit Growers Association President, Kirpal Boparai says the Okanagan's apple crop is right on target, meaning the fruit should be in good condition to send to Ontario if the province isn't able to provide apples of their own.
"It's kind of a catch 22, you don't want to wish anything bad on the neighbours, but that is the way business goes. When there is less apples in their market it opens it up to us, but you never know it could have been here."
Boparai says the crop failure in Ontario allows for growers in BC to get their fruit into the market and create relationships with people who will be tasting BC's best for the first time.
"We grow beautiful apples and cherries here. We have some good varieties, some Ambrosia, Gala and MacIntosh. So it will be interesting to get them into the market and let the public taste the apples and see if we can access this market again next year, because of the quality."
This is the first time Boparai can remember a province losing so much of one crop, that it allows other fruit growers to move in and sell in the market.
"You always have a 20 or 30 per cent loss (in crop each year) but this year I heard it's huge. So it will be interesting to see what becomes out of this and how can we access it."
The price for a BC apple in Ontario may increase, according to Boparai, depending on quality and quantity of the fruit.
Boparai isn't worried about the frost warnings in the Okanagan.
"Early in flower season we have had damage before when frost hits, but later on like this I can't recall it. So I think it will be okay and I'm sure we will be fine, it will be positive."
- With files from the Canadian Press
Read more Central Okanagan articles
City of Kelowna
Kelowna Discussion Forum
Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Central Okanagan Regional District
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
- High water advisory for Okanagan May 22
- Slow weekend for forest fires May 20
- World of Wheels photo gallery May 19
- World of Wheels 2013 this Sunday May 16
- Road safety week speeders catch fines May 14