As of July 18, the Ministry of Agriculture production insurance offices have received approximately 435 insurance claims from tree fruit farmers in Kelowna and Oliver.
The insurance claims have come after multiple Okanagan orchards suffered damaged crops from the excess amounts of rain so far this summer. Kempf Orchards in Kelowna reported one of their worst seasons in 20 years this year with 50 to 60 percent of their early crop of cherries splitting and being unpickable.
In Lake Country, Witzke Orchards lost their entire apricot crop in February due to the cold snap and frost. They’ve lost cherry crops this year as well in what has been one of their worst seasons in the past 11 years.
The government confirmed that the extent of the damage will not be known until the season is over, and they anticipate there will be more rain-split claim notices in the next months.
The ministry has been in regular contact with B.C. cherry and fruit growers and will continue to work with the orchards and farms
Source: Canadian Press