An overview of how crop growing conditions can affect buying decisions:
Many people do not realize the risks raisin farmers face throughout the growing and harvesting season. Even in the world's most ideal raisin producing region, Mother Nature can dictate success or disaster.
In the early parts of the season, farmers face the risk of spring frosts, a serious threat to the crops. Later in the spring, hail has the potential to damage or destroy large parts of the crop.
During summer, dry and hot weather help to develop the natural sugars in the grapes. However, too much of a good thing can be bad - excessive heat threatens to halt development of the grapes and even has the potential to damage the crop.
Come fall time, seedless grapes are picked and placed on trays in the vineyard to dry into raisins. During this harvest time, rain represents the biggest threat to the crop. It usually takes about two to three weeks of hot, dry, sunny weather in September to turn the green grapes into raisins, but with each September day that passes, the threat of rain increases.