Farmers take steps to protect plants, workers as temperatures soar

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 08:19:43-04

With these high temperatures, farmers have to work a little different to make sure their crops don’t fry under the hot sun.

Blake Farms use water to keep the crop from heating up.

“Cools the plant down,” Peter Blake said. “When it gets above 90 degrees, the plants get a little stressed out.”

So do people. At Blake Farms, hot days require workers to start early around 6:00 am instead of 7:00 am.

Even though they’re open all day every day, by noon their strawberry picking fields are pretty empty.

Strawberries are one of the fruits that are most sensitive to weather.

Here is a fun fact: the same method of throwing water on the fruit to keep them cool is used in the winter to keep strawberries warm.

“When that water freezes on the plant, it creates a chemical reaction with the water to produce heat. The strawberry field will look like an ice skating rink. The plants underneath that ice are protected.”

Farmers can’t complain about Mother Nature this year, they say the temperatures are perfect and rain is plenty. As long as days above 90 degrees are few and far between, they should be in good shape.

But there is one vegetable on the farm that enjoys this heat.

“Corn loves the high humidity, moisture and heat. If you’re real quiet you can actually hear corn grow at night on a warm night,” Blake explained. “It’s like a cracking sound.”