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Soergel Orchards in Wexford cancels Strawberry Festival due to high temps, lack of rain

WEXFORD, Pa. — Soergel Orchards in Wexford has canceled its annual Strawberry Festival.

The announcement was made on Monday afternoon.

“The flavor is still very good. The problem is…the quantity is minimal, and the size is not up to expectations and tradition,” said Eric Voll of Soergel Orchards.

Experts said it’s a perfect storm of sorts: a cool start to spring, which included May frost, followed by skyrocketing temperatures in June and a noticeable lack of rain.

“Today is going to be 16 days straight without measurable rain at Pittsburgh International. The last time we had a longer streak than that was 1997, so it has been bone dry,” said Meteorologist Adis Juklo. “We need a good soaking rain and more than just one day to make up for this.”

Soergel isn’t alone. Trax Farms announced it, too, would not offer Pick-Your-Own strawberries due to a lack of yield. Voll said there’s already a plan in place for next year’s crop, planting additional fields with a ‘trickle tape’ irrigation system. In the meantime, they’re hoping to save part of this strawberry season as well, telling customers to be on the lookout for an update.

“[Look for a message saying] there’s a three-hour window tomorrow that we’re opening up the fields, first come first serve,’ - but that remains to be seen,” Voll said.

Voll said if there are any Pick-Your-Own events, Soergel will email customers and post updates on social media and its website.

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