SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The significant lack of rain is affecting local farmers, and climate change may lead to more challenges for them in the future.
After a rainfall deficit for months now, the drought continues. According to David Boutt, a professor of geosciences with UMass Amherst, locally we need about 4 to 6 inches of rainfall to catch up, which is more than an average month’s worth of rain.
While dealing with brown lawns and water-use restrictions, it’s farmers that are bearing the brunt of the rainfall deficit. Especially since many smaller farms are not set up for irrigation.
We’ve had our fair share of droughts in the past, we’ve also had years with significantly high rainfall amounts, which can also negatively affect local farms.
With these unusual rainfall trends due to climate change, farmers will need to adapt by investing in strategies that will make their crops more resilient, and potentially changing their selection of crops and the timing of planting.
“The variability in rainfall is projected to increase in terms of the year-to-year variability but also month-to-month variability. So I think this, what we’re seeing here, is part of our climate changing,” Boutt told 22News.
Local farms only have more challenges ahead in the future with these weather swings, so our favorite farm stands may look a little different in the future.