Local farmer talks about how recent heat has impacted crops

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OZARK, Mo. – It certainly has been a hot September, but how has the heat impacted local farmers and their crops? 

KOLR10 visited the Ozark Farmer’s Market Thursday afternoon to learn just that. 

We are currently running almost 9° above normal and below average for rainfall for the month of September. 

With high temperatures and little rain at the beginning of the month, local farmers have had a harder time with their crops and livestock. 

One farmer said the summer was difficult to grow his lettuce, but it was not as bad as past summers. 

“Lettuce is a cold weather crop. Lettuce enjoys cooler weather and that’s why we raise, we raise it all winter long. So, this summer it was tricky because we had to go to varieties that with stilled the heat but even so the extreme temperature would cause it to bolt and grow too rapidly and get bitter.  It has a very precise growing pattern and you have to coordinate your cells with your planting and your harvesting.” 

David Ballou

Ballou said he is thankful for the recent rainfall that we have seen. He keeps his lettuce in a hydroponic greenhouse, which helps with the lettuce crop. He also has cattle, sheep, chickens, and llamas, who are also impacted by the heat and little rainfall. 

The heat was not the only negative impact that did not help the lettuce, Ballou said. Since he grows lettuce year-round, this past winter, which he said was long and dreary with a lot of cloudiness, also slowed the lettuce crop down as well. 

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