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Pear Orchards Prepare For Cold Temps

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TALENT, Ore. — Pear orchardists in the Rogue Valley are keeping a close eye on Monday night’s weather. Pear trees have begun to bloom and freezing temperatures could threaten the entire crop.

At 35 degrees, an alarm will sound at Meyer Orchard in Talent and workers will be called in to fire up the heaters and fans to avoid the critical temperature for pears tonight, which is 29 degrees.

Orchardist Ron Meyer of Meyer Orchards says if temperatures fall to 29 degrees for half an hour, pear buds will be in severe jeopardy. He will be keeping a close eye on his thermometer and has a crew on stand by should they need to be called in. Meyer says he doesn’t expect temperatures to drop too low, but does think he’ll have to start the heaters and fans.

“I don’t expect that extreme tonight. but I do think it will get cold enough where some pretty active and intense orchard heating may be necessary,” Meyer says.

Meyer says only the heaters on the perimeter of the orchard will be heated because the fans draw in the warm air and spread it throughout the orchard. The heaters run on diesel fuel and burn a thousand gallons per hour. Meyer says in recent years, the heaters are only turned on a couple of times a year and he is ready to go if temperatures drop.