B.C. heat wave leads to severe damage to some crops, benefits to others

The heat wave that has scorched B.C. has had a mixed effect on farmers on the Saanich Peninsula.

A week of extremely hot days and warm nights means there may be an early harvest for this year's corn crop.

Staff at Silver Rill Corn in Central Saanich say the heat wave was a welcome change after a cooler than normal spring.

The growing conditions have been ideal. The first crop of peaches-and-cream corn should be ready in the next few days.

"Well, corn likes the heat so it grows faster," said Clayton Fox, co-owner of Silver Rill.

"Days like we had when it was hitting almost 40 there, or 40, it grows double than what it normally would in one day," he said.

The heat, however, has had the opposite effect on other crops.

At Gobind Farms, the heat has left about 50 per cent of its berry crop damaged.

The owner of the berry farm says the early raspberry crop was a loss, and he expects to lose between 30 to 40 per cent of his blackberry harvest because of the extreme heat.

"Plants go into survival mode and everything is going to the plant and not to the fruit," said Satnam Dheenhaw, owner of Gobind Farms.

"So the berries just burn up and you can see that they're all sun-scalded, white, pale-looking. They've lost their colour," he said.

While Dheenshaw says the losses to his berry crops have been catastrophic, he still has a good supply of fresh berries at his farm stand.