Connecticut farmers rejoice over recent rainy days

(WTNH / Josh Scheinblum)

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – You don’t need to work outdoors to know Connecticut has been a pretty arid place this summer.

“The good thing is that the kids have been outside in the swimming pool,” said Allison Bouffard of Stratford. “The bad thing is you’re concerned about foliage and fruit.”

When we first went to Rogers Orchards in Southington last week it was all hands on deck as apple pickers in the field worked to not only harvest but make sure there was enough water to go around to their trees.

The farmer we met, Peter Rogers, had told us farming can be unpredictable, you never know what Mother Nature will throw your way. In the hot fields during our interview what was about to come in the days ahead seemed unlikely at best, as rain was on its way. They got so much water in New London it flooded some streets and businesses. At Rogers, they’re reporting they alone got around an inch.

“Its been a blessing for us,” said Rogers.

According to the most recent figures from the US Drought Monitor, nearly two million people living in our state live somewhere that is in drought. Peter had told us he was concerned that lack of water would mean smaller yields this harvest but with the recent rain and more ahead in the future he has been able to breath a sigh of relief.

“We’re taking the irrigation crew that we had last week running around and we’re using them in different areas so we’re packing and picking with that crew,” said Rogers.

The impact of the dry weather may still be seen in the fields as some varieties of apples are smaller than they normally would be this time of year. But Peter says if the rain keeps coming that won’t be the case for long.

“The flavor is there we just needed the size and I think this inch will really help size up some of the fruit now that we’re picking,” said Rogers.

Even with the rain there still may be challenges ahead for those who own orchards. At Rogers those we spoke with say they still need another four or five inches of rain.

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