Heat waves take bite out of business for local growers

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VALLEY CENTER, Calif. -- Local growers are taking extra precautions to protect their crops as another heat wave hits San Diego County.

Owners at Jack Simon Vineyards in Valley Center say the heat wave two weeks ago wiped out about 15 percent of their grape harvest.

“A lot of people have had much more than that -- much worse. All the farmers in our community -- a lot got hit pretty hard," said co-owner Alex Urbano.

After the last heat wave, Urbano went to a San Diego County Farm Bureau meeting where other growers were sharing nightmare stories.

“Avocado growers, citrus growers, lettuce, flowers -- a guy lost 40 acres of flowers down in Pauma Valley. He was just devastated," said Urbano.

Temperatures may not get as high this week, but it’s still going to be very hot around the vineyard with highs around 106 degrees predicted for the peak of the heat wave on Wednesday.

Urbano says his operation is doubling up on irrigation and hoping for the best.

“We’re about three weeks behind in harvest this year. Maybe this heat’s going to push things forward and we’re going to be right on time," he said.

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