NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The hot temperatures and little rain this summer have posed challenges for local farmers.
Owner and operator of McGarrah Farms, Dennis McGarrah, said the summer heat is part of the job, but it doesn’t make it any easier each year.
“Something is being watered all the time… because the heat dries it out so fast and takes so much water to come through the leaves,” McGarrah said.
At the Neal Family Farm, owner Ryan Neal, said they are also constantly watering their blueberry and blackberry crops.
“We expect it to be hot, we expect it to be dry we do irrigate, so we can keep our plants watered through drip irrigation,” Neal said.
McGarrah said the heat is the hardest on the blueberries.
“We had such a crop of blueberries that a lot of them are drying up,” McGarrah said.
Neal said the farm had a good blueberry season, and it now has lots of blackberries to pick.
Both farms have u-pick available for people to get their own berries, but both limit that option to the cooler times during the day.
“We also try to pick at times when its cooler, so we open up the first thing and then generally not during the day and then the evenings,” Neal said.
McGarrah and Neal said they also make sure everyone on the farms stay hydrated throughout the day.