The applesin Massachusetts orchards could be a bit smaller because of the persistent dry weather across the Bay State. The drought conditions, caused by four months of below-normal rainfall, are hurting some farms. They are also leading to an increased fire risk.
“Apples usually make it through droughts relatively okay because they’re deep-rooted, but we’re seeing some size reduction because of the lack of moisture,” said owner Michael Smolak from Smolak Farms in North Andover. The farm has a drip irrigation system, which has helped bridge some of the moisture gap this year.
The owner of Griggs Farm in Billerica reported smaller apples because of the lack of moisture. Bill Griggs said they’ve also lost some corn due to the drought conditions.
According to an article on bostonherald.com¸ all of Massachusetts remains under a Level 2 drought. The Boston area is down 7.4 inches of rain compared to an average year at this time, according to the National Weather Service. Boston has had 21.9 inches of rain this year, significantly less than the normal 29.3 inches of rain by early September.