Sask. berry farmers looking to move on from ‘disastrous’ year

Saskatchewan berry farmers are reeling after a year of wacky weather followed by scorching heat,

Donna Demyen, who owns Qu’Appelle’s Ol Mill Berries, says the heat won’t do much damage simply because there’s not much of a crop left.

“The heat probably isn’t because we never had anything because of the wind, the late spring, the drought, the ice storm, and the late frost,” said Demyen. “That damaged our sour cherries, our strawberries, and our raspberries. The heat isn’t going to damage them because there is nothing there.”

Demyen says the only thing that survived this year was their Saskatoon berries, but the heat will inevitably dry them out.

She says it’s becoming increasingly difficult to run a berry farm, as it’s nearly impossible to predict which crops will turn out.

“It’s hard because you have people that are always calling and wanting to come pick the strawberries, and last year we didn’t have any, and again this year we didn’t have any, and we replanted hoping we’d get a nice crop this year” said Demyen. “It’s sort of depressing when they call and you’re still telling them ‘Sorry, not again’”.

Demyen says if anyone wants to pick Saskatoon berries, time is of the essence as they’ll be dried up in about 5 days.

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