Preserving BC’s Cherry Crops With Our Fleet
Although the world seems very different this year, the seasons are still changing and spring has arrived. For Valhalla, that means it’s time to provide one of our essential services to BC cherry farmers. Every year, our pilots and crew offer assistance with spring cherry blowing
What is cherry blowing?
Cherries are a delicious but delicate fruit. Many factors can impede their growth and the eventual crop yields. Birds, insects, and weather can all negatively impact BC cherry trees. One common issue in the spring is the potential for frost which damages the fruit.
This year, we’ve seen a cooler than average summer. Many mornings and evenings still show temperatures below freezing. When frost forms on the budding trees, it can kill the forming fruit. In addition to ground fans that circulate air around the trees, helicopters assist in preserving the cherry buds.
We make early morning flights to BC cherry orchards to fight frost development and potential damage to the buds. Our crew and pilots are happy to provide this essential service, because we know our work now means the buds will develop into delicious Okanagan fruit!
When frost forms on the budding trees, it can kill the forming fruit
Helping BC farmers
Fruit farming is an integral part of BC’s economy and history. Cherry orchards have grown in our province for over 100 years. Helicopters play an important role in keeping the orchards thriving and the cherries, well, blossoming!
Another issue that cherry orchards face throughout the year is rain. It might sound strange that rain could be bad for a cherry tree, but too much water can damage the fruit. Rainwater collects in the dimple around a cherry stem, which weighs it down. The water can also be absorbed into the fruit, making it swell and split.
Ground fans and helicopter passes dry the fruit, preserving more of the crop. According to the BC Cherry Association, helicopter support can mean the difference between saving an entire year’s production or losing the entire crop. That’s a responsibility we take seriously.
We’re grateful to our incredible staff, crew, and pilots who provide assistance to BC farmers throughout the year. Learn more about Valhalla Helicopters and our industry services. For more information or to inquire about our cherry blowing operations, contact us at 250-769-1486.