CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Recent heavy downpours have been bothersome to people across western Massachusetts, and farmers in particular. While soggy weather can be bad for plants, how have our recent storms impacted local farmers?
We’ve seen quite a bit of rain this spring and summer. Back in May, more than six and a half inches of rain fell, and so far for the month of July, we’ve picked up more than four and a half inches of rain. The big question is whether all the rain will have an impact on locally grown produce this summer.
“It probably will. I haven’t noticed yet whether it has, but I know it will probably start rising prices some,” Janet Westerook of Chicopee said.
“As far as produce, like where I go to buy mine, they have it but that’s the way the weather is. You can’t help it, you got to stick with it,” Lawrence Pouliot of Chicopee said.
22News went to McKinstry’s Market Garden in Chicopee, where owner Bill McKinstry said that the heavy rain in the last few weeks has been irritating, but it isn’t harming their crops.
“Well like yesterday, it poured on us. We ended up getting stuck in the fields. I mean that was a nuisance, but the guys were just picking corn and it started pouring, but it hasn’t affect our crops at this time,” McKinstry said.
He told 22News that so far, prices have been about the same as last year and in some cases even lower. McKinstry said that right now, they have plenty of corn as well as cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and beans. Blueberries and raspberries are also available. Next week, they plan to start picking peppers.
McKinstry says that ideally, they would like to see sunshine, low humidity, and about one inch of soaking rain per week.