Popular Clovis strawberry patch hit hard by severe flooding

CLOVIS, Calif. — The recent rains not only brought work on Valley farms to a halt, but caused some crop losses.

A popular Clovis strawberry stand is looking at a much lighter harvest this season.

The string of storms flooded Heulong Siong’s strawberry patch across from Clovis Community College.

You see the field over there, it takes three days to pump out,” Siong explained. “You had to dig a trench, let the water flow into the trench and then you pump the water out.”

The field is drying out but the damage has been done.

UC Cooperative Extension Small Farm Advisor Michael Yang says the farm looked like a lake.

“The damage as you see, the plants are completely dead. Where high ground you see plants still green but as you see here, all those plants are dead,” said Small Farm Advisor Michael Yang.

The strawberries were planted in November. Many green plants remain with flowers.

They may look healthy but Siong says because of the wet soil, disease and mold will still kill off much of this year’s crop.

“Total here I have six acres. But I think about a quarter I lose,” said Siong.

Siong also lost twenty jujube fruit trees growing on his farm in Sanger.

“When it rains too much, the wind blowing, the trees fall down,” Siong explained.

It’s a case of too much of a good thing.

“We need the rain, we need the water but it’s just too much. It if causes flooding like this, it kills crops too,” Siong said.

Siong won’t know the extent of the crop damage for another month.

Strawberry season begins in April.

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