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Pacific Northwest:

Pears and grapes survive extreme heat, drought is still a concern

Last week’s heatwave thoroughly shook the Pacific Northwest. However, in the Rogue Valley, heat is just one of the problems facing local orchards and vineyards.

During last week’s heatwave, Ron Meyer of Ron Meyer’s Orchards made sure to put a sunblock-like substance on his fruit. It saved his pears, but not everyone had that option. Peter Adesman of Peter William Vineyard said the protectant substance used on pears can’t be used on produce like grapes and blueberries. Protecting the grapes takes other measures.

“The grapes are on the lower fruiting wire everything else is the canopy. So canopy control may be the major way of protecting the grapes,” Adesman told

However, these growers have a bigger problem than the heat, which is: water. With the current drought, irrigation plants are using water sparingly. “Giving the pears sunblock is one step, but if they have enough moisture to get large then you really have nothing,” said Meyer.

The two men just hoping temperatures return to average and they hope a little rain will fall. They said it’s too early to tell how harvest season will play out. They’re more concerned about the lack of water than the heat.

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