Lack of rainfall leaves local farms struggling to produce fresh crops

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The state has declared level two drought conditions across the Commonwealth. The dry conditions continue to impact homeowners and farms dramatically.

Due to the lack of rainfall, the U.S. drought monitor categorized most of Hampden County as a severe drought. Kosinski’s Farm Owner, Gene Kosinski told 22News that the drought has left the crops with little rain to help nourish them.

“In the last ten weeks, we’ve gotten no more than four 10ths of an inch of rain in ten weeks,” said Kosinski.

The banks of Kosinski Farm’s pond are normally filled, but because of this year’s drought, grass is growing. The pond typically provides water for the crops.

“If we don’t water our crops we’re not going to harvest anything,” said Kosinski. “The bushes that have already been picked are starting to set fruit buds for next year and if we don’t give them water at this particular point we’re not going to have any fruit next year so this is a two-fold issue.”

Farm owners told 22News that stocks of corn should be about 10 to 12 feet tall by this time in the season. Apples are dropping from their trees and crops are looking smaller due to the drought. Their trickle irrigation system helps, but it’s not a fix.

22News Storm Team Meteorologist Adam Strzempko explained, “All we would really need is a couple of storms. If we were to get a tropical storm that came up and gave us a few inches of rain that would really put a dent in the drought.”

But ultimately, some crops just won’t get harvested.

The good news, we’re in a very active Atlantic hurricane season which means we could get a storm later in the summer or early fall that will help.

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