Strawberry growers say extreme heat is bringing an early crop to Northeast Wisconsin

Local News

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) If you like to pick fresh strawberries, you won’t have to wait too long. As Kris Schuller reports, our hot weather is causing them to ripen well ahead of normal.

At Blaser’s Acres the farm’s owner checks his strawberry crop, that’s normally ready for harvest in late June. But with temperatures in the 90s, some of this fruit just might be ready in a week to 10 days.

“The berries are ripening up faster than they should be. They are not putting the size on. They are just turning red,” said farm owner Chris Blaser.

Blaser grows 20 acres of strawberries and the longer they stay on the vine, the larger they grow. But for him, this early heatwave is changing everything.

“With conditions like we have with the warm weather right now, they don’t have time to grow. I don’t think berries are going to be as plentiful as normal this year,” Blaser said.

Here at Moder’s Gardens, the VP told us the last time it was this hot, causing berries to ripen this early, was 8 years ago.

“It’s due to the weather. We’ve had such a warm spring and the 90-degree temperatures we’ve had the last few days are pushing the berries extremely fast,” said Mike Moder from Moder’s Gardens.

To try to slow them down and pump-up growth, Moder says he’s been watering his fields – a lot.

“Just to keep them cool, so they hold off a little longer, don’t all ripen at the same time,” Moder said.

But when they do fully ripen, Moder says it will be a good crop, based on what he’s seen in the fields so far.

“There are still plenty of berries for picking,” Moder said.

But the hot weather will definitely cut the season short, meaning when “you-pick” starts, don’t wait too long, wherever you go.

“Normally a season is 20 days for pick your own. This year if it stays like this, it will be just a couple weeks,” Moder said.

“Be ready because it could be here and gone, especially with the forecast coming,” Blaser said.

Blaser and Moder both say the best way to know when they are going to open is to follow them on Facebook and on their websites.

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