Updated 07/18/2012 06:23 PM
Drought-like conditions could impact produce
Droughts in Midwestern states have been bad for produce. And Upstate New York has had drought-like conditions with very hot and dry temperatures this summer. Farmers and grocers are looking to the skies to determine how things will be in our area for the rest of the season. Our Iris St. Meran caught up with them to see how their produce has been faring in these conditions.
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NEW YORK STATE -- It's been a tough year for farmers. The warm spring brought apples and strawberries out early, but a cold snap shortly after damaged some plants. This summer hasn't shown any mercy either.
"This is getting pretty extreme. I've seen drier conditions, specifically on the farm. I don't think I've ever seen it as dry combined with hot," said Reeves Farms Partner Brian Reeves said.
This week, Syracuse reached a record-setting 100 degrees. That's on the heels of a number of hot days. Those rainless days have affected the produce.
Nojaim Brothers Market General Manager Jim Battaglia said, "We specialize in collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens. These would normally be twice the size and twice as green. So they're starting to take discoloration and they're smaller. The quality is still very good."
But it may not be so good for your wallet. How much depends on what Mother Nature will or will not bring for the rest of the season. Battaglia says there are some items to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks.
"I think you're going to see it in corn, sweet corn on the cob,” Battaglia said. “I think you're going to see it in tomatoes and probably in melons."
This irrigation system has been a saving grace here at Reeves Farms. Since it isn't coming from the sky, they have to do the watering themselves.
Reeves said, "My nephew has been pretty much in charge of it. I know he's had a lot of sleepless nights. There's been some fields where we have put water on ourselves six or seven times. Lots of years you got to water it twice."
Reeves says farmers who don't have an irrigation system are seeing the damage. He's not counting it a loss just yet. He has had good luck with peas and grape tomatoes. His staff does what they can.
"Mother Nature runs the show. We're just players," Reeves added.