Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» July 25, 2006 «
The ongoing heat wave has many farmers on alert. Peach, plum, nectarine and walnut growers are reporting heat damage and milk output on dairy farms is down. Strawberry and tomato growers are closely monitoring their crops as well.
Hot weather is just as hard on plants as it is on people. Nursery operators suggest owners take hanging plants down and place them in shaded areas. It is cooler next to the ground. Another suggestion is to provide plenty of water each morning during the hot spell. Plants in containers should be moved to shaded areas. Indoor plants should be placed in areas of the house where they aren't in direct sunlight, and they also should be given extra water.
All Californians are being urged to conserve electrical energy. The agency supervising the electrical grid expects record demands in response to hot weather all over the state. They report demand at levels that weren't anticipated to happen for another six years. A number of farming operations with interruptible service agreements with their utilities will be without electric power during peak demand periods. Farmers are doing what they can to reduce their power usage.
Walnut growers say the intense heat of the last few days has created more damage to their crop. Walnuts on the west side of trees are showing a yellow color, which is an indication of sunburn. The longer the hot weather continues the more damage will occur. Growers won't know the total amount of damage until harvest time.
Milk production is off as much as 15 percent because of the heat. It's not just California where production is lower, but in every state where it is hot. California dairy producers are using misters and other devices to keep their cattle cool. Cows do not sweat and have no way to keep themselves cool. Young calves and older cows are especially vulnerable.Top