You might think it’s hot now, but weather forecasters are predicting an even hotter July — and that could spell trouble for farmers in the Central Valley.
Hot weather can affect everything from dairy cattle to tomatoes. About 6,000 dairy cattle in the valley were killed by a June heatwave in 2017. As for tomatoes, heat can slow growth and cause stress and damage.
Harvest is approaching for many crops including plums, peaches and cucumbers, and some, such as leafy vegetables, have already been affected by recent high temperatures.
Peter Marks, who owns Six Hands Winery in Walnut Grove, says the heat will likely affect vineyards as the temperature climbs into the triple digits.
“These heat spikes going up and down and put a lot of stress on the grapes themselves and create more issues for us in the field that we have to be cognizant of,” he said.
The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a hotter-than-average July across the entire continental U.S., but mostly across the West.
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