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Local farmers preparing for upcoming hot weather, beginning heat-related precautions

Strawberry field
Dave Alley/KEYT
Strawberries grow at West Coast Berry Farms along Black Road in Santa Maria. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Local farmers are preparing for the upcoming heat wave that is set to bring uncomfortably hot temperatures to the Central Coast late this week.

Tim Driscoll with West Coast Berry Farms said much of the planning involves heat related measures that are needed for employees.

He said when temperatures hit 80 degrees, it triggers a heat program that must be observed. Additional water supplies, as well as shading structures are required in the fields.

Heat stress training is also enacted, which helps educate employees on the dangers of hot temperatures, and what to look for in regards to heat-related injuries.

As for the crops, Driscoll noted additional watering is not required. He stressed that over watering plants could be just as detrimental as the hot weather.

He added the farm may make slight augmentations or adjustments to its watering schedule, but for the most part, it remains normal.

At Talley Farms in Arroyo Grande, the farm is also getting ready for the heat wave.

Organic production manager Tony Weyland said the farm also is preparing its heat stress training program for employees.

He added worker schedules may be adjusted, with times moved to earlier in the day before the hotter temperatures arrive.

Watering of crops may also be shifted a little bit, with more irrigation moved into the evening hours so it helps get into the root zone.

Wheyland also said some of the more sensitive crops will need a little more attention, such as tomatoes, lettuce and peppers.

Article Topic Follows: Agriculture
central coast
heat stress
santa barbara county

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