Record-High Temps Could Mean Sweeter Fruits This Season


According to NOAA, the recent hot temperatures are more than just a heat wave. For the last 25 years, the world-wide temperature has been above the 20th century average with no sigh the summer sizzle is letting up.

Its another sweltering 90 degree day on Pete Demarest's Hillsdale, New Jersey, farm, but he's not sweating about his peaches.

"The leaves look good,” he said. “The fruit is starting to size up. it's starting to give us color.”

This summer's sizzling temperatures comes with a silver lining for some farmers and consumers. Just about every crop, from peaches to tomatoes to corn, should taste better this year.

"Everything that we eat in produce has sugar in it, natural sugar, and the drier it is the sweeter it's going to be," said Demarest.

New Jersey was one of three states that had the warmest month of June on record. In all, 34 states, stretching from the Northeast to the Southwest, had above average temperatures in June with no signs of changing any time soon.

"We've got this area of high pressure that is stuck right over the central and southeastern part of the country,” said CBS News Consultant Dave Bernard. “Its basically not moving, so areas from Texas to the northeast that have been basically hot. Its going to stay that way."

So if the heat means misery for most people, some farmers are looking at their best season in years.

Greg Donaldson with Donaldson Farms said, "A lot of people are talking about how hot it is, but this is like an old-fashioned summer. This is what summer is all about."

But there is a downside – some parts of the country have not seen enough rain to go with hot weather, and dry conditions are beginning to be a problem.

“Heat can be a double edged sword,” said Chandler Goule of the National Farmers Union.

With help from an occasional thunderstorm and good irrigation, Pete Demarest thinks his crops can handle the current heat wave, but he knows the one thing you can't count on is the weather.

“You never know from week to week,” he said. “I could have a hail storm next week."

But for now, Demarest and other farmers like him are harvesting plenty of sun.

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