Drought makes peppers more potent

Pepper farmers see perks from hot weather, drought

Published On: Jul 20 2012 01:43:19 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 20 2012 02:41:10 PM EDT

As summer temperatures stretch above 100 degrees in Michigan and across the nation farmers are faced with the worst drought in more than 50 years.

The U.S. Agriculture Department recently sent their under secretary to Michigan to inspect local crops for damage caused by the unseasonable hot weather.

The drought has no doubt hit the local farming communities hard.

Consumers will feel the burn again when it comes time to grocery shop in the coming months.

Perhaps the only silver lining in an otherwise dried-up cloud may be the pepper crop.

NBCnews.com reported that this year's pepper crop is expected to be booming and potent as a result of the hot weather.

The extreme heat is responsibly for changing the flavor and potency of the peppers making them hotter.

Horticulture professor Irwin Goldman, told NBC, "Peppers really like hot weather. When it's dry and hot outside, you'll get a higher concentration of alkaloids."

Hot temperatures produce more capsaicin in the pepper which according to experts is the type of alkaloid that is responsible for the level of hotness in each pepper.

According to the professor the same effect happens in crops of onions, garlic and some types of fruit.

For pepper farmers and local suppliers like the Saginaw based Boese Harvester Company which sells harvesting equipment to chili farmers, the hot weather is most likely a welcomed forecast.