Agriculture, Business, Central New York, Community, Consumer, Food

Unpredictable Summer Weather Puts Local Crops at Risk

Tomatoes at Reeves Farm risk disease with heavy rain © 2018 Ashtyn Hiron

Click the play button above to hear more on how the summer rain has affected local produce.

Audio Transcription:Local crops impacted by rain

By Ashtyn Hiron SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —  Heavy rains this suhas put crops in Central New York at risk.

Farmers are at the mercy of the weather and with central New York receiving more than six inches of rain this July , it rings true.

Reeves Farms in Baldswinsville hand picks all 130 acres of their sweet corn crops. When heavy rain floods the fields, it becomes very difficult to pick corn.

Reeves Farms manager Karin Reeves said heavy rain causes difficulty for famers to pick crops. ” It makes it extremely hard for us to pick because there’s certain crops that you don’t want to pick in the rain. If you’re picking a tomato when it’s raining  you’re spreading disease around the field,” Reeves said.

The extreme weather, which includes periods of drought followed by rain, creates conditions that pose a risk to the health and sale of the crops.

“Sales are affected by the rain. People don’t go to the grocery store as much, they don’t want to come out to our fruit stand when it’s raining. People stay inside more, so when the weather is nice, we have more sales,” said Reeves.

Heavy rains also affect plant health, wash out crop fields, and spread disease. When crops flood, Reeves Farms notice that some of their tomato and melons absorb too much water causing them to crack.

The several days of rain that central New York received in the last week of July decreased produce sales at Reeves Farms.

Tomato crops at Reeves Farms were affected by the rain.