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Farmers Battling Brutal Heat

Posted on: 6:14 pm, July 19, 2013, by , updated on: 07:59pm, July 19, 2013

BUTLER TOWNSHIP — Working in the field during a heat wave can be awfully tough. A  farmer in Luzerne County is protecting his crews from the heat and the sun.

A tent is being used as part of the blueberry picking operation at the Burger Farm near Hazleton. The idea is to shield workers from the sun’s potentially harmful rays.

“It’s nice, but it gets tiring after a while if the sun hits you and you’re not under the tent, but if you are under the tent, it’s really nice,” said Emily Flaim of Sugarloaf.

“It helps OK. It keeps the sun off you, keeps the sunburn away, but it doesn’t keep the heat away,” said Austin Shultz of Berwick.

The heat is causing some concerns about the blueberry crop. The high temperatures are making the berries ripen faster.

“Once they get so ripe, they fall off on their own and they end upon the ground and they’re not good anymore, so being that it’s so hot they’re ripening faster than normal, so we’re trying to get them off as fast as we can,” said Len Burger.

At the nearby Hilliard Farm, Bruce Hilliard takes on the sun. Hilliard says the heat is helping the peach crop, but he predicts it will affect the price of peaches.

“Last year, we didn’t have much. The price was higher. This year we have more peaches, the price is lower.”

All of the farmers we talked to say, for the most part, their crops are in good shape. What they’re hoping for is some rain to offset the heat.

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