Irrigation systems working hard to maintain crops during heat wave
Published Tuesday, July 7, 2020 2:35PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 7, 2020 6:53PM EDT
ST. AGATHA -- Dry conditions have settled over southern Ontario as temperatures continue to sit above 30 C.
There's no significant rainfall in sight and local farmers are concerned about their crops, since a lack of moisture is starting to affect production.
The Herrle's County Farm Market in St. Agatha has irrigation systems working overtime to help maintain crop moisture. Staff at the farm said three systems run for about 12 to 18 hours each day.
Herrle's manager James Herrle said there are both positives and negatives from the recent dry conditions.
"We're in the midst of strawberry season, and if we have to have a hot, dry spell I always want it during strawberry season," Herrle said. "We don't have to deal with issues of mould or that sort of thing and fruit is ripening as quickly as we need. The downside is sometimes it's ripening almost too quickly before we can pick it, and it can be hard to work in this weather."
Staff have been heading out into the field earlier in the day to avoid the hotter parts of the day as temperatures stay high in the area.
The dry weather is also starting to affect the soil.
"It's already starting to take a bit of a toll, especially on some of the soil types that are a little bit more drought-prone," Herrle said.
Others said it may be a challenge to get enough water to maintain moisture levels.