Some growers dread another heat wave; others welcome it
Farmers around the region are bracing for another stretch of hot weather. The dry conditions have already been brutal on their business.
"Right now, we would need a good two- or three-day rain, and just soak into the ground," said Bill Palmer, with W.T. Palmer & Son in Shartlesville, Berks Co.
The blistering hot summer sun is burning up cornfields, and the lack of rainfall has stunted the growth of crops on Palmer's farm. Right now, the corn stalks are about three feet shorter than they should be, and Palmer fears his supply will run dry.
"We had right around a half-crop last year. Now it looks like we might be in the same boat again this year if it don't start raining soon," Palmer said.
Farmers are praying for rain, but for some growers, the high heat can make for a vintage year.
Wine growers are benefiting from the dry conditions. Hot, dry weather is the forecast places like Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery in Breinigsville, Lehigh Co., cheer to. Grapes can withstand the heat, and little rain means a sweet reward.
"In a dry year, what will happen is our yields will go way down so we don't pick as much fruit, but the quality of the fruit we do pick is much better," said Kari Skrip, owner of Clover Hill.
The dry weather means more intense flavors, deeper colors and ultimately a better blend.
"They like to be a little bit stressed, so we're happy, we're looking good out in the vineyard right now," said Skrip.
Grape vines can grow roots 20 to 30 feet into the ground. It may look dry on the surface, but they will dig deep for water.
So what is one crop's demise, is another's vibrant vintage.
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