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Record Heat Giving Cherry Farmers Hope For Better Year After Drought

Record Heat Giving Cherry Farmers Hope For Better Year After Drought
February 11, 2016 11:14 PM
By Leigh Martinez

Filed Under: drought, el nino

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The warm, sunny break from El Nino leading to record highs in California may be good for crops, but not for allergy sufferers.

For the past three years, Central Valley cherry trees have underperformed.

“Some people would suggest that we’re due for a big one,” said production specialist Scott Brown.

But now it looks like bing cherries will go bang. The blooms are a full month early on cherry and nut trees, but the way they look as growers excited.

“There are multiple buds per spur. We’ve got a good bud set so that’s what’s important,” he said.

Across the valley, everything is starting to green and bloom, and allergists like Dr. George Bensch are also seeing a boom in patients.

“The allergy season is exactly three and a half weeks early. What you’re noticing are what people are feeling: congestion, headache, running nose, itchy eyes, and they’re miserable,” he said.

But before you blame the cherries and almonds, think again. Bensch says if bees pollinate it, you’re not allergic to it. Instead, your allergies may come from grass, oak trees and mold from recent rain. His advice is to start spring cleaning early.

”So you should clean up your environment in the house, because it’s all cumulative,” he said.

Growers say they’re happy this year’s weather is putting them back on the traditional harvest schedule, which was thrown off by four years of drought.

Leigh MartinezFollowLeigh Martinez is the multimedia journalist covering the San Joaquin Valley.

Previously, Leigh was the weekend anchor at KGET 17 in Bakersfield and also spent three years covering the San Joaquin Valley for KXTV News 10.

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