(Host) Vermont’s dairy farmers have been struggling with crop losses and poor haying weather, but the summer hasn’t been a washout for the state’s vegetable growers.
VPR’s Steve Zind reports:
(Zind) On the whole, Vermont’s vegetable and berry growers are faring better than their dairy counterparts. Record rains in May and a wet June have been challenging but Verne Grubinger of the University of Vermont Extension Service says much of the state’s vegetable crop is grown on well drained soil.
(Grubinger) “Many of the crops are doing quite well. There’s a fantastic strawberry crop out there. A lot of the cool season greens are doing quite well and sure there’s been some disease problems with all the wet foliage and some of the warm season crops are set back. But by and large, it’s not been that bad a year at all in horticulture.”
(Zind) Grubinger says most of Vermont’s vegetable farmers grow a variety of crops. If some don’t do well in some weather conditions, hopefully others will thrive.
That’s been Richard Wiswall’s experience this year at Cate Farm in Plainfield. He’s had trouble with a few crops, but most have done well.
(Wiswall) “You don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, but I’d say on whole, this is not so far from average.”
(Zind) Wiswall says his farm’s well-drained soil has lessened the impact of the rains.
Southeastern Vermont has seen more rain this month than other parts of the state and growing vegetables has been a trial for Michael Collins at Old Athens Farm in Westminster.
(Collins) “It’s been fairly miserable. We thought we were going to have a great start. We seeded stuff for the first time ever in March. But then it started raining and it never quit.”
(Zind) Collins says it’s too early to tell how the weather will affect his livelihood this season. Like farmer’s everywhere he hopes the weather will improve and his fortunes will change.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.