By Steve Large


SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — Rain, hail, and then sun. The unusual spring weather has nearly wiped out this year’s cherry crop.

You can blame some of the unusual weather this year on an economic disaster for cherry farmers in our area. Now the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau is planning to request a disaster declaration for cherry farmers.

For Linden cherry farmer Jim Ferrari, his money does grow on trees. And this is money wasted. The molded cherries represent a missed opportunity for what was going to be a record harvest.

READ ALSO: Cherry Farmers Rush To Protect Biggest Harvest In State History

This year the cherry harvest, was horrible.

“You couldn’t find enough cherries to make a pie at times… I mean in certain spots in the orchard,” Ferrari said.

Non-stop rain in May, ruined what was expected to be the biggest cherry crop in California recorded history. The rain splitting the cherries open, leaving the fruit rotting while still on its tree branches.

“It’s shocking. I mean sometimes you’ll lose one variety but not all of them,” Ferrari said.

Ferarri didn’t lose half his harvest or most of it — he lost it all.

READ: Last Asparagus Farmer In San Joaquin County Considering Calling It Quits

“Zero. We didn’t put a ladder in the orchard… nothing,” Ferarri said.

He’s not alone. Now the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau is working to file a state and federal disaster declaration for cherry farmers here. If approved, San Joaquin County orchards impacted by the May storms will receive some compensation for their losses.

Insurance will also help cover some of the financial hardships.

“It was like a perfect storm,” Ferrari said.

May rain, ruining the cherry harvest in San Joaquin County. Now there’s no cherry payday. It’s just the pits.

“This weather has been the most unusual weather we’ve ever had,” Ferrari said.

Ferrari said the difference we will likely see at the stories is most of the cherries we end up buying this year will now come from Oregon and Washington.

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