Record rainfall impacting crops for local farmers

July 5, 2013 2:54:29 PM PDT
Record rainfall drenched the area recently and local farmers are wondering how this will affect their crops.

At Charlestown Farm, organically raised beets are being harvested and washed to be on sale Saturday at the local Phoenixville Farmers market.

The record wet weather has had quite an impact on the 40 acre operation.

"We have lost product probably 10 or 15 percent," said Liz Anderson.

Some crops have done beautifully like potatoes and blueberries. However others like peas seemed to have suffocated in the muddy soil.

Staffers at Charlestown Farm are keeping an eye on other plants struggling from the damp soil.

"We have seen rotting at the bases of some of the plants," said Anderson.

A few miles away, John Yeagers' family has been farming this land for about 100 years. Here too, they've suffered some early loses.

"The rain beats the ground so hard that the seedlings can't push through the soil," said Yeager.

Later plantings have done well, including some sweet corn that will be ready in a few days.

A signature item - peaches. Normally wet weather hurts the flavor, but early arrivals are promising.

"We're pleased with the flavor, it's going to be a good year for peaches," said Yeager.

So will the weather impact the cost of local produce?

"I would say prices would be the same," said Yeager.

"It might, it's kind of funny - all the farmers are looking at the others' prices. So if someone raises them, they all will raise. It's not planned," said Anderson.

Farmers are looking forward to some dryer weather but not too much.

Yeager points out that they will need some rain in about three weeks. If it goes too long, six weeks or more, they could be in for a whole new set of problems.


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