I am surprised by the lack of knowledge evident in recent letters to the editor on cherries and present practices.
The present issue with cherries is the current practices in farming them and the value this farming brings to the local communities. No one has a problem with cherries themselves.
The argument that attempts to divert attention toward development is outdated. From the 1960s up to 2000, the loss of agricultural land to development in our area was an issue. However, that has virtually become a non-issue locally in the last 20 years.
Residential development is presently not out of control. The Agricultural Land Commission oversees that. The next issue is noise, both the intensity/volume and timing. Noise levels at the property line are above levels set for safe hearing protection (farm workers are required to wear hearing protection). In no other circumstance do we allow these levels of noise to be imposed on neighbouring properties.
The noise is generated early in the morning and in overnight hours any day of the week from April to October when required by helicopters, wind generating fans and turbine sprayers.
Again, in no other circumstances do we allow this. Next, is the value to the local community. The property tax paid by an industry such as cherry production or marijuana production pays the same property tax on the land use as vacant unfarmed land.
The product is exported and 95 per cent of the work is performed by foreign farm workers. This is not a problem but shows that the benefit is not local. One person put it like this, “we pay the cost and others get the benefit.”