The wet weather in the Coachella Valley is causing problems for one of the valley's major crops. Ninety-five percent of the county's dates are grown in the desert. Date farmers are facing losses after too much rain fell in some areas damaging the fruit. The date traditionally thrives in a dry, hot climate. "Well it was concerning but it wasn't detrimental," said Mark Goulet from Shields Date Gardens. "If we can have some rainfall, but we can have a windy blowing day the next day they dry out, so we were very concerned."
Date farmers all over the desert draped cloth bags over their fruit in an effort to protect it from the rain. "They take probably 90% of the rain away, so if they're not dampened very well, the fruit will maintain itself," said Goulet.
But, even the bags can't protect from the torrential down pours. Dozens of moldy, rotten dates got tossed to the ground during harvesting at some farms in Coachella. It's a tough sight to see for the people who depend on the business.
"Without the good dates, your sales are going to drop," said George Kirkjan from Desert Valley Dates. "Your inventory's going to drop, and the production's going to drop."
Though Kirkjan says it's too early in the harvest season, they're still hoping for a good season, welcome news for date lovers from all over the world. "I'm so grateful and I recommend everyone to come and see this, just to experience it," said Fatma Haji, who was visiting from Montreal, Canada.