Drought seriously impacting farms in northern Connecticut - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Drought seriously impacting farms in northern Connecticut

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Drought conditions are affecting farms in northeastern Connecticut. (WFSB photo) Drought conditions are affecting farms in northeastern Connecticut. (WFSB photo)
SUFFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Even with Wednesday's deluge of rain, northern Connecticut is in the midst of a season-long drought.

In fact, to many farmers in northern Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties, the rain was considered a mere drop in the bucket.

David Fusiek of Coulter Farms in Suffield was one of them.

"A lot of the corn [grew] already and hay did its growing already," he said.

By Fusiek's count, only an inch of rain fell at his farm during the month of June. He said he measured a quarter of an inch of rain in July.

It's sapped his corn field and left his cow's pasture brown and dry.

"Corn is probably going to yield half of what it usually does it's just short," he said. "It's not going to be as much corn.”

The corn he produces is food for his 90 cows.

With the lack of production, he said he's having to supplement what his cows eat.

As far as the cows go, Fusiek estimated that his production is going to be down 25 percent.

The scorching heat is also a factor in that production.

WFSB's Early Warning Forecast Center said the state is up to 23 days of 90 degrees or more. The average for Connecticut is 17.

At Botticello Farms in Manchester, irrigation has been a savior.

Its owners said that while corn quality is good, they're still at a loss without rainfall.

"We lose a whole field of cucumbers because it's just too dry," said Tony Botticello, Botticello Farms.

Farm managers also told Eyewitness News that they're paying more money to produce corn, though its price isn't going up. They said that's making the profit margin razor thin.

Owners said rain will help some of its vegetable crops, but it needs to come soon and last awhile.

Here's more on the forecast for Wednesday.

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