Rain Hurting Local Agriculture

3:05 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY -- This spring and summer have been overall wet.

Since June 1st, Buffalo has received nearly 10 inches of rain. Normally it gets about six inches, so we are above average with rainfall by nearly four inches.  Despite some dry, hot stretches, all of the rain isn't helping some local agriculture. "If you know anything about gardening and farming, it makes it pretty difficult to say the least," Mike Thorpe, Owner of Thorpe's Organic Family Farm in East Aurora, said.

Mike and his wife Gayle have owned their family farm for 32 years. They are hoping for dry weather this summer. "When it's wet you just can't work the soil and when you can't work the soil you can't plant so consequently things get delayed," Mike Thorpe said.

The Thorpes will have to replant some of their crops such as corn because of all the rain. "We normally plant around 700 acres or a little more," Thorpe said. "And we were only able to plant 400."

It also hasn't been dry enough to make much hay. "Generally takes... three days to get your hay dry depending on what time of the season it is," Thorpe said. "And that's been very difficult for us, it's just been nearly impossible due to the weather."

But the wet weather is actually helping some crops that can handle it. Fruits like strawberries are mostly doing just fine and this year taste especially powerful. "They were excellent, and our blueberry crop... looks like it will do well," Thorpe said.

But there were more crops harmed than not from all the rain and those at the Cornell Co-Operative Extension of Erie County say there's even concern over some fall crops. "Hopefully we're going to have a good pumpkin crop," Sharon Bachman, with the Cornell Co-Operative Extension, said. "With the wet conditions to plant as we all know, so possibly delayed planting."

Meantime farmers are just trying to make due. "There are going to be some losses definitely this year for us and I'm sure a lot of other people in our area," Thorpe said. "It's full of challenges but that's life on the farm."

Some dry stretches recently have helped some farmers make hay and plant pumpkins.

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