Strawberry season starts off hot in Baraboo

BARABOO, Wis. —  A produce farm got a hot start to an even hotter day.

Wednesday morning marked the beginning of strawberry picking season at Berry Farmer’s Market. Farm owner John Pinkston said he saw a good turnout in the early hours, but that numbers began to dwindle around 12 p.m., something he attributes to the heat.

“90’s and upper 90’s is a bad thing for fruit growers,” he said. “With this heat, everybody’s going to be looking to scramble to get their berries picked as soon as possible.”

Heat isn’t a new problem for Pinkston or for other farmers. In the past month alone, the irrigation system at the market has had to be activated on eight nights in order to keep the strawberries from wilting.

“This is probably going to be a pretty challenging year for most farmers,” said Pinkston.

Still, he maintains hope that he’ll see lower temperatures and rainfall soon.

“Right now we’re pretty optimistic,” said Pinkston.