Monday, 03 September 2018 14:16

Dry conditions impact Maine farms Featured

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STATEWIDE - It's been a beautiful summer for outside activities but not getting much rain is impacting some farms. Some farmers are focusing their energy on crops that are thriving.

"We have calla lilies growing in here. We have our peppers and then on the other side we have our eggplant," said Hanne Tierney, owner and farmer at Cornerstone farm in Palmyra.

 

It's the end of the summer growing season in Maine. Many fruits and vegetables are ripe as farmers continue to work hard and get them ready to sell.

 

"I love to market my goods. I love creating beautiful displays with vibrant bright colors," Tierney said.

 

At the beginning of any growing season, Mother Nature is a hard force to predict.

 

"You talk to any farmer, it's always a bad year for something. It's too hot, it's too cold. It's too wet, it's too dry. It doesn't matter what it is, it's going to be too something," Tierney said.

 

For most of the summer, the weather has been very hot. With little rain, some parts of the state have experienced abnormally dry or drought-like conditions that continue to grip each county.

 

"Unfortunately we haven't really seen any improvement over the last few weeks as far as the drought," said Susan Faloon of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

 

Some farmers who spoke with ABC7/FOX22 did not want to go on camera because they said they had a very difficult season due to the dry conditions. Other farmers who spoke to us said that they learned from experiences in their past and used that going forward.

 

"It's a learning process continually. I don't think any year is the same in farming," said Tierney.

 

This is the third summer in a row with statewide abnormally dry or drought-like conditions. If farmers are losing crops or the dry conditions are affecting their livestock, help is available.

 

"They could touch bases with USDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and they sometimes have programs available that can assist with that," Faloon said.

 

Fall is fast approaching and officials said the state needs a lot of steady rain before the cold temperatures arrive.

 

"Once the ground freezes then we're not going to see that water making it into the groundwater to replenish over the winter as well," Faloon said.

 

Officials said if dry conditions stay at current levels, the state will be back in drought conditions come next spring.

Gina Marini

Morning Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

Gina Marini, a graduate of Curry College, joined WVII ABC7 and WFVX Fox 22 after spending a little more 2 years with NH1 News in New Hampshire. During her time there, she spent time traveling the state bringin...