Protecting the Family (farm) Jewels

During the summer months, in central Washington, isolated thunder storms are not uncommon. When ripe cherries get drenched with rain water, the purity of the distilled water allows it to penetrate the cherries through the skin causing major swelling. These gorged cherries exposed to the heat of the sun, after the storm clears, often split due to the extreme stretching of the skin. During certain years whole regions of growers end up with a complete loss of annual crops due to frequency of the summertime isolated thunder storms. Those larger growers who can afford the service at $1,200.00 per hour, employ helicopter pilots to immediately follow each storm and hover a few feet above each row of cherries to blow dry as much of the rain water as possible in order to prevent crop damage.