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Fraser Valley farm says heats causing worst year ever for raspberries

Last Updated Jul 6, 2021 at 2:04 pm PDT

(Courtesy Driediger Farms Market)

Raspberries are turning white in the heat as they die in the Fraser Valley because of the heat

Driediger Farms in Langley have lost 40 per cent of their crop

You can also expect to pay more for raspberries, as prices are up compared to last year

LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) — Driediger Farms in Langley says many of its raspberries are not surviving the hot dry weather.

Emma Suffron is an assistant supervisor at Driediger Farms and tells NEWS 1130 they’ve lost about 40 per cent of their crop since raspberries are turning white in the Fraser Valley as they die in the heat.

“These plants are in terrible distress,” she says. “Right now we have customers coming in 24/7, asking, ‘when are we going to have these berries?’ But until we know what the heat is going to be like for the rest of the summer, it’s not looking good for berries right now.”

Last year’s high temperatures were just high enough to help the berries grow, Suffron explains, but during this year’s heatwave — specifically the heat dome last week — Fraser Valley farms experienced harsh conditions that killed their crops.

“So last year’s crop, due to the heat not being terrible, was amazing. But this year’s crop is just looking absolutely horrible,” she says.

Extreme weather like that what province saw this year is impacting local farms.

“They’re dying out. We’ve had other farms calling us asking us for our supplies of berries, but we don’t even have enough to give out.”

So the loss of crops will cost you more to buy raspberries, Suffron says.

“We’re looking at the price of berries is going to rise significantly high. And we’re looking probably around $6 per pound for raspberries for cascade specifically, which are one of the most popular types of raspberries.”

Last year, Suffron says a pound of raspberries went for around $4-5.

She adds blueberries are doing better, so the price of those hasn’t spiked.