Rain, Rain, Go Away… come back to California some other day!
It’s no secret that the West Coast has seen an increase in rainfall over the last few months. Now, after an intensive rain season, California Cherry Growers and shippers are preparing for a delay in harvests and productions, as fruit is experiencing rain-related damage and cherries are splitting.
Now, you may be wondering, WHY DO CHERRIES SPLIT AFTER RAIN?
After all, rainwater is always sought after when growing a crop, especially in drought-ridden California. But contrary to popular belief, too much rain can trigger over saturation and absorption within crops, and in this case, cause fruit like cherries to crack.
“It is not the uptake of water through the root system that causes cracking in cherries. Rather, it is the absorption of the water through the fruit cuticle. This occurs as the cherry nears ripening. At this time there is a greater accumulation of sugars in the fruit and if it is exposed to long periods of rain, dew or high humidity, the cuticle absorbs the water, resulting in split cherry fruit. Simply put, the cuticle, or outer layer of the fruit, can no longer contain the increasing sugar amount combined with the absorbed water and it just bursts.” Read more
The Packer magazine spoke with Mike Collins of Chinchiolo Stemilt California, a chairman of the California Cherry Board’s estimating committee. Collins suggests that after conversations with several shippers in San Joaquin County, he can “roughly estimate the statewide cherry crop to be about half, or 5.25 million boxes, of the 10.5 million boxes estimated at the season’s start due to rain-related fruit damage.”
If you think about those numbers, that is 50% of cherry products being lost due to uncontrollable weather conditions! To any farmer who calculates their yearly profits off of successful harvests, those numbers are truly devastating to production goals.
So what can be done to prevent excessive rainfall from ruining your crops?
A-N-C Cold Storage Construction experts suggests that growth, production, and packaging cold storage facilities, with enhanced atmosphere-controlled ripening room environments, could be the solution to prevent future lost crops for all California farmers.
Cold Storage facilities offer absolute control over environments that crops grow and are harvested under. This ensures that freshness and quality of your fruit remain unaffected by uncontrollable weather conditions. Strategically pairing cold storage with Controlled Environment Agriculture, offers precise control over air/root temperatures, irrigation, plant nutrition, humidity, carbon dioxide, and even light control, and ultimately poses a high rate of returns as compared to traditional farming.
Additional benefits of a Cold Storage Ripening Room & temperature controlled environment production and packaging facilities include:
- High-density maximum crop yields
- Crop production where no soil exists
- Virtual indifference to ambient temperature and seasonality
- More efficient use of water and fertilizer
- Minimal use of land area
- Suitability for mechanization and disease control.
Utilizing ripening cold storage facilities can undeniably be a main component to the long-term success and growth of individual farms, the farming industry within California, and very likely control the quality and quantity of produce within this country.
If you’re experiencing crop loss due to ever-changing, uncontrollable weather conditions, are interested in learning more about Cold Storage Construction Solutions, and how atmosphere—controlled production facilities can save you money on energy, production, and product loss, we urge you to give us a call @ 909-874-4963 to speak with our Cold Storage experts.