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Heat Impacts Fruits and Vegetables

Pear-CropCENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The hot weather mixed with severe drought conditions is impacting fruits and vegetables in the Rogue Valley.

With the hot sun beating down on crops across southern Oregon, one might think the crops would be dried up, but farmers said with the proper irrigation, some of their crops are even being able to be harvested earlier this year than normal.

Seven Oaks Farm is one of those places.  Farmers said the melons are ripe and are ready to be picked at least 10 days before their average harvest time.

This year watermelon and cantaloupe are looking extra sweet and juicy.  In some cases, a sugary substance is even dripping from the stem, which is a sure sign of deliciousness, but it’s not the same scenario for every fruit. Tree fruits like apples, pears and peaches are growing slower, and this means harvest time could come at a later date.

“It’s certainly going to slow it down and may delay it for several days,” said Philip Van Buskirk, an administrator at the Oregon State University Extension Office.

Several farmers with proper irrigation hook-up said they are not feeling the impacts of the drought.  They are able to keep their crops watered and well-nourished during the heat of the day.

Farmers said no matter if the crops are in the ground or on trees, this year should be a good harvest year overall.

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