Nfld. & Labrador

Strawberry crops suffer rain delay

Strawberry farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador are hoping for sunshine as crops suffer from the worst growing season since the 1980s.
Strawberries have not been plentiful yet at this U-pick in Campbellton, in central Newfoundland. (CBC )

Strawberry farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador are hoping for sunshine as crops suffer from the worst growing season since the 1980s.

Strawberry crops are nearly three weeks behind schedule but the berries aren't ruined yet, said Campbellton Berry Farm owner Phil Thornley.

Farmer Phil Thornley says his business is depending on sunshine to help ripen his berries. (CBC)

"It's meant that the berries have had to sit in low temperatures, and they'll just wait for the sunshine and for the soil to warm up."

 When that comes, the berries will likely all ripen at once, and Thornley hopes the berry pickers will arrive in a rush to harvest the sun-kissed crops to preserve his bottom line.

"If people can still come out and pick, the same numbers of people in that shorter period of time, then we'll be OK," he said.

Despite not being ripe yet, the berries are growing well, and got a nod of approval from berry picker Marion Tough at the Campbellton U-pick farm.

"These are the first we've picked and we just got here," she said. "They look pretty good, but they're not all ripe."