Nova Scotia apple farmers were feeling “cautious relief” after post-tropical storm Fiona tore through Atlantic Canada Sept. 23–24 and are continuing to harvest what is still expected to be a fairly good crop, according to a Sept. 26 press release from the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association.
According to the release, Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley was spared the worst of the storm, which battered the northeastern parts of the province. With a heavy crop load on the trees, some farmers were out picking mature fruit from the tree tops before the storm, to prevent breakage. High winds and heavy rains did knock some apples to the ground, and growers have been looking for signs of bruised apples on the trees.
Some growers reported trellis failures and downed trees, but not to the extent originally expected. The spread of fire blight is a concern, and many growers took protective measures in the hours after the storm passed. Some breakage was also reported at farm nurseries, according to the release.
“Amidst some crop loss and structural damage, I’m still pleased to see good fruit on the trees and harvest ongoing,” Perennia tree fruit specialist Michelle Cortens said in the release.
Those who lost power made sure employees living in on-farm housing were comfortable and well-supplied, according to the release.
—by Matt Milkovich