Cleaning up after Hurricane Dorian

Workers picked apples on the Stirling farm in the Wolfville, Nova Scotia  area a day before Hurricane Dorian arrived. The storm downed power lines and caused washouts. Stirling Farm photo by Robert Short, CBC.

A day after Hurricane Dorian blew out to the North Atlantic sea, Maritime growers are evaluating losses by crop and geography. 

 

For Lisa Jenereaux, Spurr Brothers at Melvern Square, Nova Scotia, the news was discouraging for 100 acres of apples. “At least 30 per cent of our apple crop is on the ground,” she said. “Quality will be the big issue.”

 

“It’s seems we’ve been hit hard lately,” said Jenereaux. “We were quite hopeful that this would be one of our largest apple crops.”  

 

She was quick to add that the situation on her farm might not be the same in the entire Annapolis Valley. Assessments are still underway.    

 

As of noon Monday, September 9, the farm was still without power, complicating shipment of another commodity:  potatoes. With a warehouse in the dark, she was struggling to source a reefer that could come in to take potatoes to market. 

 

About 30 minutes to the east, Charles Keddy, C.O. Keddy Nursery, Kentville, Nova Scotia was one of many who was “electricity-free” from Saturday September 7 until 6 pm Sunday September 8.  

 

“We’re coping the best we can,” said Keddy, while taking several calls on another line. “We have many wash-outs and culverts that have been taken out.”

 

He put the situation into broader perspective, saying that the area had received more than 137 mm of rain over a 10-day period. In the next 10 days, Keddy will be harvesting 10.5 million strawberry plants to ship to Florida. The scramble is to be ready to fulfill orders.

 

Prince Edward Island also felt the brunt of winds that ranged from 100 km per hour to 130 km per hour. 

 

“This is the worst storm I have ever experienced,” said Greg Donald, general manager, PEI Potato Board, recounting howling winds, driving rain and numerous uprooted trees. “But overall, the potato crop has fared not too badly. I’m surprised that the fields have weathered the storm as well as they did.” 

 

To put the potato situation into perspective, Donald said that after a dry summer, the soils were able to absorb rainfall that ranged from 15 mm to 108 mm across the Island.

 

“What’s next? As long as we don’t get a frost until after Hallowe’en, we’re on track for an average potato crop.” 

 

 

Source: The Grower staff

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Publish date: 
Monday, September 9, 2019

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