You-pick farms lose customers and crops through heat, drought and haze in Iowa

BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — You-pick farms are struggling through heat, drought and haze. 

Specialty crops that require lots of water — like blueberries and strawberries — are refusing to grow. And customers are canceling their appointments to pick berries in the heat. 

A strawberry farmer in central Iowa said these are the worst conditions he has seen in his 56 years of operating the farm. This year, his entire crop failed. 

Smoke from Canadian wildfires also caused hazy skies in Iowa and poor air quality several times this summer. 

A blueberry farmer in southeastern Iowa said customers have canceled their appointments on especially hazy days.