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Ontario heat delays apples and threatens to rot squash and pepper crops

While it should already be sweater weather, southern Ontario is still seeing 30 C heat. So hot, in fact, that apples at some GTA farms are taking siestas. 

"When it gets too hot, some fruits like apples and grapes simply shut down," Matthew Passafiume, director of the Applewood Farm Winery in Stouffville, Ont told CBC Toronto. 

"We're going into this weekend with all these apples on trees that aren't ready to be picked, so we'll have to delay everything one week."

Between 30 and 40 per cent of his apples currently on the branch are under-ripe. His woes are compounded because he started the season with nearly 70 per cent fewer apples than in a normal year because last summer's drought stressed the trees so much they didn't blossom. 

Some other crops, especially ones darker in colour, like some varieties of squash and peppers, have struggled in the latter half of September, farmer Guy Farintosh told.

The hot weather is expected to break in the coming days, though, with a return to seasonable temperatures by the weekend or early next week. 

Farintosh said he hopes to harvest as many ripe crops as possible before then. 


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