The USDA’s Farm Service Agency wants to hear from local farmers who have suffered crop losses because of the dry weather this spring and summer.
Scott Waterman, spokesperson for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets: “Despite recent rains, drought has impacted many farms across Vermont and New England this summer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continues to sound the alarm about drought conditions across our region, especially from southern Chittenden County south through Addison, Rutland and Bennington counties, with the outlook for future precipitation unclear.”
Crop losses of 30% or more could help establish a basis for disaster relief being made available to Vermont farms, Waterman told mountaintimes.info.
In Shoreham, Champlain Valley Orchards felt the effects of the dry weather as well. “Certified organic currants and summer raspberries are very light picking,” wrote Bill Suhr in the orchard’s July 24 newsletter. “The end of summer berry season is very near — the heat and drought definitely closed things down quickly.” Three weeks later, Suhr announced that peaches would be smaller this year because of the drought, “but so flavorful!”
State and federal officials are collecting and tabulating drought and crop data and would like to hear from as many county farmers as possible.