WALWORTH, N.Y. (WROC) — With four of the fifteen hottest summers on record occurring in Rochester since 2010, we’ve all been feeling the heat, but no group has been impacted more than local farmers.
They often have to wear many hats to keep their farms running smoothly, and more and more they have to wear the hat of climatologist.
“[I’d] say the last five years we notice that keeps getting hot and hotter, and the sun keeps getting a bit worse and worse,” Gary Craft, the owner of G and S Orchards in Wayne County, said.
Hotter summers pose issues for both crops and people.
Craft said that its sometimes hard to get the harvest done when temperatures surge, as he said he “just can’t” keep his people out there in the heat.
The other major issue results from the produce sits in the hot sun all day. Fresh fruits and vegetables can become too soft to harvest after being exposed to extreme heat, and sometimes become damaged before they get onto your table.
“Several other growers had the same problem, so they’re doing some tests and one of it was maturity of the apples,” Craft said about a batch of apples that went bad during the previous harvest. “The heat just — it just baked them, and they’re sitting out there on the limb on the end, and it’s 110 degrees. They have no place to hide.”
With another above average summer forecasted by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, farmers will be forced to roll with the punches as they come this season.