STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Dry weather patterns this summer are affecting farms throughout Central Pennsylvania and the fresh produce you may find in your kitchen.
Way Fruit Farm owner Jason Coopey said long stretches without rain can affect the crops of many farmers.
“If we don’t get rain, the peaches can be a little bit smaller, the corn won’t be as big and so what will happen is size will start getting implicated on some of these,” Coopey said. “And for some of my youngest cropping, they might not grow at all.”
WTAJ Chief Meteorologist Joe Murgo said Central Pennsylvania is experiencing a dry weather pattern, with the sun evaporating moisture from the ground quicker than it is being replenished.
“We’ve been dry for a longer period of time and that can shock plants,” Murgo said. “That can cause some differences in the production of some crops.”
Before the rain came over the weekend, Coopey himself experienced this.
“The crops are still surviving, they’re just not growing,” Coopey said.
Centre County Farm Bureau President David Fetterolf said when a dry weather pattern comes through, there aren’t many things farmers can do aside from waiting for a rainy day.
“Most farmers are used to that but every year’s different,” Fetterolf said. “You need a good crop to be able to pay the bills.”
Murgo said the rain can help in the short term.
“These downpours do help some of the water collection areas for water systems and so forth,” Murgo said. “But places that have wells, if we don’t break the pattern by the end of the summer, there could be more serious issues.”