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Blistering heat blasts Malheur County crops, could impact yield

Stuart Reitz, Malheur County extension agent, surveys a field of shallots for heat damage last week. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

VALE – If you are an onion plant, the Treasure Valley is usually a good place to grow.

That’s because during a typical growing season, the temperature remains warm and stable during the day and then cools down at night. That cycle helps onions grow and mature.

This year, that cycle is in trouble as a heat wave continues to blister Malheur County and potentially create long-term problems for the area’s $80 million onion industry.

“The nights are not getting as cool as we need them. That is what makes the Treasure Valley so great is you get the heat units you need in the daytime and at night it cools off,” said . . .