Soggy Spring, Dry Summer Affects Vermont Crops

08/15/11 5:04PM By Samantha Fields
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AP/Toby Talbot
A farmer's field in Middlesex is partially flooded in May.

(Host) This week's drenching rain has been a welcome relief for many farmers.

There were deluges this spring that led to flooding. But since then, rain has been scarce. Many fields have dried out... leaving brittle, brown grass and stunted corn. And farmers are struggling.

Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross says Addison County has been particularly hard hit.

(Ross) "You can drive through Addison County and you can see it very clearly. You see it when you see corn curled up in a very tight tube that's maybe only a foot to two feet high."

(Host) Many farmers planted late this year because of the flooding. Ross says the consequences of that will become more apparent in the fall, as farmers begin to harvest. 

(Ross) "They already know a lot of farmers are going to be down. They don't know how far down they're going to be and what the quality of the feed will be. So it's a volume issue and it's a quality issue."

(Host) Another problem plaguing farmers and gardeners this season is late blight, a disease that can devastate tomato and potato crops. Late blight has begun to appear on many farms recently.

 

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chuck_ross crops summer_weather environment
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