Farmer John Diepersloot has invested between $40,000 and $60,000 in each hail cannon he uses to protect his fruit.
Farmer John Diepersloot has invested between $40,000 and $60,000 in each hail cannon he uses to protect his fruit. Sasha Khoka
It's spring, and in California's Central Valley, where most of the nation's peaches, plums and almonds grow, orchards are filled with brilliant blooms and tender baby fruit.
But sometimes spring hailstorms can destroy that fruit — and farmers there are looking for ways to protect their crops.
As Sasha Khokha of member station KQED reports, some of them are putting faith in a very loud device they hope will stop hail from falling out of the clouds.
They are shooting booming cannons into the sky, in the hope that the sound waves will break up the ail and turn it into rain. Scientists say there is no way to prove if these cannons really work, but farmers say it is cheaper to try the cannons than to buy hail insurance.