Coping with rain when you grow cherries......

Discussion in 'Fruit, Nuts & Berries' started by daveomak, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Daily rains have my neighbor hiring a helicopter..... As soon as the radar show a break in the clouds, the helo flies over my house...... dries off his cherries, and heads to another orchard...
    This is a routine.... every drenching rain....

    I think the helo's are expensive.... don't know how much.... anyway.......... here are some pics..... click on pics to enlarge....

     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's just wild! I thought I had seen it all when that guy in Wy. with the big ranch wqas herding cows with a chopper. But drying the cherries......... I just a box of fresh cherries this week, from the PNW, I wonder if they are from your neighbors.....LOL

    Best cherries I've had in a few years!
     
  3. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Thanks Dave, that is really great to see.

    That rascal is a 1990 Schweizer Model 269C with a Vertically mounted, fuel injected Lycoming Model HIO-360 SER engine.

    They are used by the Los Angeles county Sheriff's department and charter firms.

    The engine family been installed in thousands of aircraft, including the Cessna 172Piper Cherokee/Archer,Grumman Tiger, and many home-built  craft.

    In a pinch it will supposedly seat 3 people, but generally it will carry 1 -2.  It cannot carry a lot of weight.  Weighs 1100 pounds dry, nand has a Max take off weight of about 2,000 pounds

    Initial cost was about $250,000.

    Home base is out of Laurel, Montana, East of Bozeman.  Since he has a range of about 200 miles, and Laurel is about 650 miles away, he must be on a nice charter for the local farmers. But hey he is getting "seat time".

    Now you can wave and strike up a conversation next time he buzzes the cherry orchard.

    Good luck!
     
  4. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow. Just dries them off with the blow from the rotor? I can't see other attachments in pics. I can't imagine how one can make money on those cherries. They've been on sale here for
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You would think it would be better in the long run to install orchard fans....lol. Where my folks live (near Medford, OR) is where all the Harry and David Orchards are, they have these big orchard fans they use to blow heat from the smudge pots around. I bet they would work for drying as well - initial cost would be high, but after that they are yours.... no renting a copter.
     
  6. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    Yea Dave, I don't know how it's been in your neck of the woods, but down here in teh Southwest part of the state, we've had some pretty heavy rains and some localized flooding in the last week.

    Good luck
     
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



    Great info.... The pilot saw me snapping pics yesterday and did the "courtesy" fly over.... that's how I got the last picture... the "he" headed up the hill to the other orchards...
    There are many helo's in this valley..... probably 10-15 I would guess..... The crop value is in the millions and rain will ruin your day.... I don't know how long it takes for one drop of water to cause a ripe cherry to split and wipe out it's entire market value.... split cherries are not purchased by the packers.... toss them....
    Then the helo's fight fires... one bag of water at a time.... I live about 1 mile from the local airport and the air traffic when a fire gets going is pretty busy... of course they pick up water from the lakes and rivers and fuel from some remote fueling depots, but still, seems every 10 minutes a plane flies over....
     

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