GROWERS around the state are dreading the effects of today's freak heatwave.
With the mercury set to hit 45 degrees in parts of the state, irrigation and sunburnt fruit aren't the only concerns, with bushfire alerts in the north and west.
Yarck cherry grower Michael Rouget from Koala Country Orchards is in the middle of harvest and said, while rain was the worst thing that could happen to his crop at this time of year, extreme heat could prove damaging as well.
"The fruit can become sunburnt and soft," he said.
"Cherries as very temperamental and any extremes at this time of year can really affect us."
Koala Country Orchards produces premium cherries for Australia and overseas.
Michael and cousin Simon pride themselves on producing "Australia's finest cherries'' and take quality seriously.
They have extended their season from 8-10 weeks to 12 weeks by planting at a new site in Cobram, bringing in earlier fruit.
The temperature at Cobram is set to hit 41 degrees, and has already hit 33.5.
"With the forecast being for just one hot day, we have lots of measures in place to combat most of the damage that the heat causes,” Michael said.
"We pick early in the morning, and knock off once the day gets too hot.
"The fruit is cooled back down as quickly as possible using a hydro cooling system.
"If the forecast was for a week of extremely hot temperatures, then we would be more concerned about how the ripe fruit would cope."