The approaching weekend's heat wave can make it painful to walk barefoot on pavement, and to grab the seatbelt buckle or steering wheel. However, farmers in the southeast have more grave concerns regarding it.
"When you get air temperatures into the 30's, our normal crops that we grow shut down. They just are not able to really grow well with those high temperatures. What probably hurts the most is the canola that's trying to flower in this," said Edgar Hammermeister, a producer in the Alameda area.
"But it's always a balance. If it gets hot, then how long is it hot and how much does it cool off overnight? Like last year, for instance, when we had a very hot flowering period, but because we had a lot of soil moisture and overnight temperatures really quite cool, the crop was always able to recover. We still had some very good canola yields. That's my hope for this year, that though it gets hot during the day, things cool off overnight and let the crops recover and maintain yield."
For the most part, such events are completely out of the farmer's hands. However, Hammermeister noted that using mulch to maintain residue on the soil can make a difference to insulate and protect the roots.