Cold weather means trouble for local growers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cold weather means trouble for local growers

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Yakima, WASH--If you've been to a farmer's market this season you probably already know that the cold wet spring is taking its toll on the agriculture business.   Local growers are dealing with late or damaged crops.  The weather has caused issues like bruising from wind damage, splitting in cherries and under-pollination.

Eric Johnson owns Johnson Orchards in Yakima.  His cherries are already two weeks late because of the low temperatures.  He says he's more worried about the quality of the crop than the size.

"If we continue with this kind of weather, you're not going to get the sugar and the size that you want.  I direct market most of my cherries and that's a big concern for me", Johnson explained.

So far Johnson hasn't been hit as hard as most.  Many asparagus, and hay growers especially have had a terrible season.  Next week Governor Chris Gregoire plans to request federal disaster aid for growers in Yakima and other Washington counties. 

And tomorrow the state agricultural director Dan Newhouse will be in the Tri Cities to meet with some growers who will be eligible for that aid.