Just when farmers thought this heat would wipe out crops, it's actually helped some.

One Halifax County farmer's melons are ripe and ready for the Virginia Cantaloupe Festival in Halifax County.

Picking the fruit is a back breaking job that feels like it never ends.

"We could probably pick about, I don't know, 30, 40 thousand cantaloupes off a field this size," Said Don Reese.

His farm hands know the meaning of a hot job.
This has been one of the hottest cantaloupe picking seasons on Don Reese's family farm in Halifax County.

"It gets a little old," Reese said laughing. "But we tolerate it well. It's what we do."

Sweltering days like Friday practically melt the plant's leaves and vines, literally burning the crop.
This year he's lost about five percent of his cantaloupes.

Although the heat's been welcomed, it hasn't exactly been Reese's best friend. It's put a small strain on his melon crops but really hurt his string beans.

"Blooms will drop off in the heat and they just, the plants just can't tolerate 100 degree weather and it's just been a short bean crop," Reese said.

Fewer beans means higher prices at the Reese's produce stand.
A bushel of string beans now cost 50 percent more than last year.
In a crate nearby, two crates now hold cantaloupes instead of one.

"What we're picking now are some of the biggest cantaloupes we've ever had," Reese said.

Non-stop watering and constant heat doubled the size of his cantaloupes.
It also made picking season start earlier than normal barely missing Friday night's Virginia Cantaloupe Festival.

"They know that we're going to come in early July and try to get our orders together and they've come through each and every year for 32 years," said Brandon Scearce, an organizer of the festival.

Just in the nick of time Reese's farm helped supply a demand that has proved to never ease no matter how hot.