Heat wave takes a toll on San Joaquin Valley agriculture
Six consecutive days of San Joaquin Valley temperatures topping out over the 100-degree mark are impacting agricultural production, reported Bob Rodriguez in the Fresno Bee.
Rodriguez talked to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors to learn about the recent hot weather's effect on tree crops and grape vines.
"Trees and plants just seem to shut down when it gets this hot," said Kevin Day, University of California Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County. "And the fruit just doesn't ripen."
Grape growers face similar challenges when the mercury rises.
"Instead of producing sugar and enlarging the berries, the vines just maintain," said Stephen Vasquez, UCCE advisor in Fresno County, viticulture.
The high temperature around the Valley is expected to be about 101 today. More pleasant weather begins Saturday, when temperatures return to normal for this time of year, the mid- to upper 90s.
When the weather gets really hot, grapes go into survival mode.