Could recent hot weather hurt local strawberry crops?

Could recent hot weather hurt local strawberry crops?

SANDUSKY COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Now that Memorial Day is behind us, many Northwest Ohio families are looking ahead to berry picking season.

But is the excessive heat hurting local berry crops?

Locally, some strawberry crops may be coming in a little later than usual, as some farmers waited to plant until the lingering cold of winter finally went away.

However, in Sandsuky County, Polter's Berry Farm has had strawberries available for a while.

The worry is the heat, as workers not only have to deal with the high temperatures, but the hot air could also impact the quality of the berry.

Steve Polter of Polter's Berry Farm said that the optimal temperature for this time of year is in the mid 70's, not a week of 80's and 90's.

For berries being picked now, it means harder work to keep the berry whole, while berries that are still green, it means they could be a little smaller than usual.

"With the berries we're picking, it's kind of making them a little bit softer, and it's going to lead, probably, to smaller fruit down the line. The strawberries need cooler temps to size up," Polter said.

Steve said that at Polter's Berry Farm, their "U-pick" strawberry season will begin in about 10 - 14 days.

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