Strawberries damaged by storm

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Ag inspectors were spread out all over the Valley checking on farms and various crops after Thursday's storm. (KFSN)

Ag inspectors were spread out all over the Valley checking on farms and various crops after Thursday's storm.

Some growers expected more cherries to split after the crop soaked in rainwater overnight. That will happen as temperatures warm. But for local strawberry growers the damage was already becoming apparent.

Standing water in the strawberry patch was the last thing Kouei Siong wanted to see. The storm which flooded his farm caused the berries to begin to break down.

Siong explained, "Strawberries out the door, all that rain that comes through here. As soon as the rain touches the strawberry the strawberry is pretty much damaged. Strawberries very sensitive to water. It rots right away."

Siong expected a busy Mother's Day weekend at the family's stand at Willow and Behymer in Clovis. They will still have vegetables for sale but the brisk wind and partial sun won't be enough to save the bright red strawberries which look ripe until you notice the water damage.

Siong noted, "From the top it looks beautiful. It looks good to go. As soon as you pick it up and flip it, it's rotten."

Siong figured it would take four to five days for the water to drain through the hard soil so they can get back into the field and clip off the strawberries which are rotting on the vine.

"Because of the rain, for every 15-20 berries maybe only one berry will be good, if that."

Despite the disappointment, Siong took it all in stride. It is the life of a farmer. You take what mother nature gives you.

He said, "Water's great. Just bad timing."

Flooding caused problems on many farms on the valley's west side.

One grower in Tranquillity told Action News he was pumping water out of his field to salvage his cotton crop.
Related Topics:
weatheragriculturestorm damagerainclovisfresno countyClovis
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