In Durham the extreme heat and the lack of rain have been causing problems for local farmers. Joe Scarpelli has the details…
“I don’t think I’ve seen it this dry towards the end of June and early July… I’ve never seen it this dry before.”
Rod Mckay has been growing crops at his farm since 1969. 47 years later he’s experiencing one of the very few things that he’s yet to deal with.
“We’ve seen it dry in late May and then it seems to pick up and we get rain. I’ve seen it dry in August when a lot of the crops don’t need as much rain as they do in June and July.”
McKay’s Willowtree farm in Port Perry grows all kinds of fruits and vegetables on about 500 acres. McKay says many of his crops have been affected by the lack of rain and his biggest concern is the lost opportunity.
“If we had an inch of rain per week with this much sun and this much heat we’d have bumper crops in just about every crop we grow.”
Meanwhile the cattle are also affected by the hot, dry conditions.
“A lot of the beef cattle are grazed all summer on pasture at least until August but this year the pastures are dried up by the end of June so they have to be supplemented with hay, which usually is fed in the fall and winter.”
Dipping in to the winter stash isn’t just a problem this longtime farmer faces, McKay says it can cost consumers as well.
“The price of stuff is a little higher this year partly because of the shortages. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the beef business because a lot of cattle are going to be coming off pasture early so it could change the price drastically.”