WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) – A farm in Whately planted sunflowers after losing tobacco crop due to heavy rainfall in July.

According to Meagan Murphy, Fairview Farms lost their tobacco crop due to severe back-to-back flash flooding events throughout the month of July. There was a ton of rain, 9.94 inches of rain reported at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, and lots more across the region with some areas seeing over 12 inches.

Flooded fields have made it difficult to manage crops or plant fall and winter crops. Plants growing in waterlogged soils are susceptible to diseases created by excessive wet conditions.

Meagan told 22News that her dad, Alan Sanderson, has grown about 40 acres, which is about 26 soccer fields, of sunflowers at his farm in place of the damaged tobacco. The family-owned farm was established in 1984 and provides a wide variety of annual flowers and wholesale greenhouse tomatoes, tobacco, and other seasonal products.

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