Local Farmer Expects Continuing Heat To Affect Crops

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PIERPONT - Despite the ongoing heat in mid-Missouri, farmers at Pierpont Farms said their yield is good, but will start to worry if the heat continues.

"If this goes on six to eight weeks longer, we're gonna start biting our nails," said owner of Pierpont Farms, Rob Hemwall.

At the moment, the fields and beds are green and lush looking. The unplanted soil, however, is cracked and consistent with the National Agricultural Statistics Service which reported 97 percent of the Missouri's topsoil is short on moisture.

Hemwall attributes the current success of his crops to the pond that sits next to the farm, which is used to water the crops. The irrigation system runs underground, releasing enough water to keep the plants healthy.

"There's very little waste that way. The plants absorb the moisture right away," said part-owner Katie Miller.

Though most of the vegetables are doing fine, Hemwall said the heat is causing tomato plants to drop blossoms. That means those plants will be unable to produce as much of the fruit later in the season.