Hail pummels California fruit

04/11/2012 05:41:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Whatever the extent of damage, it covered a lot of ground.

“It was a significant storm and anything in its path was affected,” McClarty said. “Stonefruit, grapes, berries — whatever was there.”

In Kingsburg, hail cannons went off within earshot of the offices of Kingsburg Orchards.

“The hail started all of a sudden,” said Jillian Diepersloot, special projects coordinator at Kingsburg Orchards. “It’s still raining. It will take a few days after the hail to evaluate and see which fields were affected.”

Mike Reimer, sales director at Reedley-based Brandt Farms, said the storm followed no clear pattern.

“There were places hit very hard and others not touched at all,” Reimer said. “There was no hail where we are in Reedley. But in other areas it was the largest amount of hail I’ve ever seen.”

“The industry needs a little time to fill in what happened here and assess it,” he said. “For a lot of guys it’s a sensitive deal. It’s their livelihoods.”

Check back with The Packer later for updates on this story.


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Anon    
SJV, CA  |  April, 12, 2012 at 09:13 AM

I live right in the middle of this area, surrounded by hail cannons, and they did nothing to break up the hail. Some may argue with me on this, but what's the point of spending the money, when they can't help you through bad storms like this?

Buck    
Terra Bella  |  April, 12, 2012 at 09:21 AM

Good call Einstien, why don't we just give up, plow under everything and go to the bar and have a beer. This is they're lively hood and they will do anything to try and save it. It is not like it happens everyday. If you don't like, move!!

Steve    
Kingsburg  |  April, 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

The pleasant sound of the cannons almost drowned out the monotonous roar of the hail. The cannons don't fire much at all during those lovely clear days.

Anon    
SJV, CA  |  April, 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM

I don't care if someone wants to spend their money on a cannon... i do not. but i have a right to farm just as they do - but is it right, if the theory of the hail cannon is true, and it pushes the hail away from one farm, but toward another? the cannon is the same argument you can have with purchasing hail insurance. just making a comment BUCK, don't get so sensitive. i'm the one on a farm in the middle of this, not you in terra bella...

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