Drought Conditions Leave Orchards Dry - NECN


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Drought Conditions Leave Orchards Dry

Drought Conditions Hit Connecticut Growers

The state is short 5 inches of rain, and that affects farms and crops across Connecticut. (Published Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015)

The summer of 2015 will be remembered as a dry one for farmers and growers across the state.

Rainfall was short more than 5 inches over the summer, and it had an impact on orchards all over Connecticut.

"It’s really bad. We haven’t had any rain," said Mary Concklin, a fruit specialist at UConn who works with growers around the state.

She said the lack of rain and increased sun exposure leads to an effect that actually isn't a bad thing for pickers.

"With all of the sunshine we’re getting, the carbohydrates turn over to sugar faster so the fruit is sweeter, which is a big positive," she said.

Sandi Rose, who owns and operates Rose's Berry Farm in Glastonbury, said the lack of water leads to new expenses in order to irrigate her 80 acres.

"It costs money to pay for gas and propane to irrigate this much land," she said. "Blueberries need an inch a week minimum and I have 40 acres of blueberries."

Rose hopes for rain before the weather turns cold to avoid potentially damaging disease to her orchard.

"They’re spreading fruit for next year so everything is a continuum," she said. "We always have to worry about the next year and how the crops are going to get through the winter and they need to be strong to do that."