Summer heat causes concern for local farmers

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Some of the hottest temperatures in the Ozarks is causing mixed reactions at the greater Springfield Farmers Market.

One woman says it bothered her that customers can escape the heat whenever they want but the vendors are standing on asphalt for four or five hours.

Pam Shelburn, a former vendor, found it unbareable. “We actually had to quit coming and selling at the market because it got too hot for us.”

She misses being a vendor at the greater Springfield Farmers Market but five years was enough for her. “At some point it’s not worth it to kill yourself to sell produce to the people.”

Farmer Brad Gray has been a vendor for ten years.

He braves the heat for the love of his loyal customers. “They’re gonna stand out here and sweat to get those good crops because they taste better they’re grown locally and they want to support the farmers.”

Tomatoes, peaches and corn thrive in hot weather.

Watermelons are another popular crop that’s able to withstand hot conditions.

Another farmer, Harvey Brubacker, says the temperatures have actually helped him this summer. “Watermelons grow better when the temperatures are above ninety degrees. It boosts our sales during the summer, and we’re thankful for them when we have them.”

Though some farmers have no problem with the heat that’s coming our way, others know the negative impact it can have on crops that are not built for this type of weather

When crops bolt, they stop growing and the crops are no longer edible

Brad Gray said that lettuce gets bitter when it bolts and is not worth harvesting at that point.

Gray also says hydrating your crops every day is one way to save crops. “I’m able to provide drip irrigation, which keeps my crops growing evenly.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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