Rain causes challenges for the Valley's top crop

FRESNO, Calif.

Some raisins rolled up in trays to protect them from the rain still ended up sitting in a pool of water. These water-logged raisins won't make it to the market.

Jerald Rebensdorf said, "They're going to start breaking down right away because they'll start rotting on the tray."

These unprotected raisins drying on long trays were harvested mechanically. They're even more prone to mold problems.

"You're hung out to dry," said Rebensdorf. "There's not much you can do with it because it's still too heavy to pick up."

Kerman grower Ken Alles says the rain can cause mold and sand problems.

Alles said, "The ones on the edge have the sand already laying on top. Here they don't so the sand is bouncing from here and ending up on the raisins."

Alles put some raisins to the taste test. "You can taste the sand on them. As they dry they'll get embedded and you have to wash them to get it out."

An added cost to growers.

Raisin growers figured their crop weathered the first storm pretty well but they're very concerned the rains won't let up. This vineyard even saw some hail.

Growers like Jerald Rebensdorf can only hope a strong breeze can help clear the threatening skies.

Rebensdorf said, "We need a wind and a lot of sunshine to dry out the ground and get the water off the trays."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.