Hilary ruins 20% of remaining Cal grape crop

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Hilary ruins 20% of remaining Cal grape crop

California’s table grape harvest was significantly harmed by Tropical Storm Hilary, which  brought torrential weather to California on Aug. 20. The storm crossed Baja California, and also dropped rain in Sonora, en route to California.  

John Pandol, director Pandol Bros., Inc., Delano, CA on Aug. 25 tells FreshFruitPortal.com that about 20% of the remaining California grape crop has been damaged. About 25-30% of the total fresh California table grape harvest is complete. So, of the remaining 70%, 20% was harmed by Hilary.

Those grapes that were covered and close to harvest were generally unharmed. The late season varieties, and the varieties with thicker skins – reds and blacks – also “got through fairly OK,” Pandol reports. 

But it was organic and white varieties that were most damaged.

Related articles: Southwest braces for “unprecedented” Hurricane Hilary

The bottom line, Pandol adds, is that Hilary “will take a piece out of the middle of the season.”

The 20% loss will be felt immediately, running to the middle of November. The crop should then be normal until it ends in late November.  

Pandol notes that California’s grape “crop insurance guys are filing potential claims already.”

Other weather reports indicated that Hilary’s record-shattering rains wreaked havoc in parts of Southern California, producing catastrophic flash floods and torrential debris flows in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Los Angeles saw its wettest August day on record, with downtown tallying 2.48 inches.

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