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East Texas farmers experiencing one of the toughest years on record

Sustained triple-digit heat has forced many to cease production for the season.

TYLER, Texas — On the first day of July, many were in shock when they heard the news: the popular East Texas Farmers Market made the difficult decision to close for the year. This came at a surprise because usually the season lasts until the end of July or even early August.

However, with East Texas experiencing an early start to the summer heat, farmers have been feeling the consequences.

"When we get sustained 100 degree temperatures for several days, the plants are just not going to hold up," said Dennis Oefinger, co-owner of The Veggie Stand. "We've been doing this for fifteen years now and this is only the second time ever the weather has forced us to close."

The Veggie Stand is one of the last remaining for the season. Them and so many other local farmers have had an especially tough time this year. Fruits and vegetables need a lot of care and good conditions to grow. The sustained heat this year has made it nearly impossible to keep a steady supply.

Oefinger thinks they can stay open until the end of July. However, it's much different than usual years when they could remain open into August.

"The majority of farmers we work with, they've all had the same issues too. Due to the heat, everything just dried up so early. We just have nothing to move."

The Veggie Stand is still open and plans to remain in business for the remainder of the month as long as their supply can manage.

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