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DailyTidings.com
  • Orchardists assess hail damage from Tuesday's storm

  • Random volleys of hail peppered orchard blocks and vineyards Tuesday, keeping crews busy searching for crop damage late into Wednesday.
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  • Random volleys of hail peppered orchard blocks and vineyards Tuesday, keeping crews busy searching for crop damage late into Wednesday.
    Hail storms that swept through the southern reaches of the Bear Creek drainage were nothing unusual for this time of the year, but created plenty of angst.
    "Anytime the fruit is set, hail is bad, when it gets closer to harvest, it's worse" said Doug Lowry, CEO of Associated Fruit, which works 500 acres in the alley. "We're just a couple of weeks from picking certain varieties."
    The hail was concentrated around Talent, said Phil Van Buskirk, of Oregon State University's Southern Oregon Experiment Station.
    "It appears extensive in some places, but we don't know how many orchards were hit, because we're still out there assessing the damage," Van Buskirk said.
    For the most part, the hail appeared to be round and smooth in nature with fewer jagged edges that tend to shred leaves and heavily damage exposed fruit, he said.
    "On the surface, it may not show for a day or two," Van Buskirk said. "If you peel the skin off a pear or peach, you an better see if it has damage."
    Harry & David spokesperson Rhonda Klug reported minimal damage in that company's orchards.
    — Greg Stiles
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