AG Watch

Valley crops sustain heat damage

Friday, July 05, 2013

After over a week's worth of high heat some Valley farmers are starting to see some crop damage.

The intense heat has been good for the produce David Sarabian sells at his stand at highway 180 and De Wolf. The sun sped up watermelon production. But Sarabian is also concerned with his Thompson Seedless Grapes. This heat wave is causing some of the grapes to shrivel up on the vine.

"I see the bottom of the berries starting to dehydrate or wither away and if we come back in a week or so what looks like a green berry now will be a purple berry which will turn into a raisin that has no meat that has no value, " Sarabian said.

The grape bunches appear to be healthy until you take a closer look. Sarabian figured he has lost 10 percent of his crop.

"You can see how the stem dried out and there's just no life let to it. See the berries just fall off and they're raisining," said Sarabian.

They are destined to become raisins but this is not the time growers want to see them drying up. Fresno County Acting Ag Commissioner Les Wright has been keeping in close contact with dairy operators and ranchers. Many have been using fans and misters to try to keep their animals cool.

" With the night time temperatures not cooling down we're concerned there may be a loss in livestock. Those cows that are already weakened from age or whatever just have a tough time to survive," Wright said.

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ag report, fresno, fresno county, ag watch, dale yurong
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