Heat Not Impacting Crops Yet

5-14 rob webMEDFORD, Ore. — Morris Arthur has been growing blueberries at his Alta Vista Orchard for twenty years. He’s seen cold snaps and heat waves, and said warm temperatures aren’t much of a concern this time of year.

“As long as you have plenty of water for irrigation, it doesn’t really effect early on,” said Arthur.

It’s keeping his blueberries watered this year that has been a challenge. He said irrigation water for his sprinklers isn’t available yet, so his grandchildren have stepped up to water each plant by hand. The high temperatures will start to be a factor when the berries begin to ripen.

“Now, if they were ripening, it would cause them to ripen faster and some varieties it would cause them to get soft,” said Arthur.

7 Oaks Farm in Central Point grows produce from corn to onions and they said this is good growing weather.

“In the past years, we’ve been cold and wet. So, actually this is kind of a welcome for us to have this kind of weather,” said Jeff Mefford.

Mid 90’s temperatures in the middle of May is unusual, but still plays less of a factor than threats of frost.

“The heat, you know, we’re kind of used to it. We know how to deal with it so we get by,” said Mefford.

Back at Alta Vista Orchards, Arthur said the blueberries did bloom early, but an exact date for when they’re ready is still up in the air.

“We’ve been thinking they bloomed maybe a month early, so it may be sooner than July 1st, I’m not sure,” said Arthur.