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US (CA): Storm could be trouble for cherries
Storms this week throughout California's Central Valley could damage cherries before the season gets underway. Although rain won't affect this year's crop, hail could damage fruit.
An erratic bloom period already promised to curtail production of Brooks cherries in southern growing regions, but overall production was not expected to suffer. But if this week's storms bring large amounts of hail or strong winds, that could damage fruit.
"Rain won't really do anything," says Jim Stewart, sales manager at Wespak Sales. "But hail and wind would injure cherries." He adds that this time of year is important as so much of the success of the season is dependent on spring weather.
Production is not anticipated to be significantly different from previous years, but a bad storm could change that. Once this week's weather changes, says Stewart, they might have a better idea about production and quality.
According to the National Weather Service, after a brief break on Thursday morning, a storm system should impact central California into the weekend.
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