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Local pear farmer hoping for dry weather

All the rain is causing headaches for local pear farmers.

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 5:47 PM

TALENT, Ore. -- All the rain is causing headaches for local pear farmers. 

Ron Meyer, Meyer Orchards owner, said right now is a crucial time for pear farmers. 

Meyer plans on bringing bees into his orchard Wednesday night for pollination, which is a process he typically wouldn't do until after spraying insecticides.

Back in the Fall, Meyer said he was worried about not having enough water. 

He hopes it'll warm up because bees won't pollinate in the cold or rainy weather. 

"Just one good day of 65 or 70 degrees with the bees in there, that's all it takes to pollinate," Meyer said. 

On the other hand, Meyer said the cooler temperatures mean less of a chance for devastating diseases like fire blight, scab and mildew. 

He dealt with his worst case of fire blight last year during a combination of rain and warm weather.

"We actually lost about 60 full grown trees and butchered probably another 120 getting rid of it," Meyer said. 

He said he hasn't seen any actual damage to his orchard yet, but if it does not get drier and warmer, and fast, that could change. 

While the abundance of rain is messing with his schedule, it isn't all bad news.

Gordon Jones with the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center said last year's dry Fall made farmers nervous about irrigation water.

"With the good rain and snow that we've had this year, reservoirs are pretty full and it looks like we should be alright in terms of the snow pack to get through the irrigation season," Jones said. 

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