Growing season picks up after hot, dry summer
Orchard owner Chuck Everett says mulch is what helped to save his apple crop this year.
Published Friday, September 7, 2012 7:24PM ADT
This summer has been a dry one and local farmers have been feeling the heat. For many, dry conditions have produced fields that are not even worth the time and effort to pick.
Chuck Everett owns an apple orchard in Island View, N.B. He says mulch is what helped to save his apple crop this year.
With his and other apple u-picks now open, the effects of a dry summer are being felt. However, Everett says without the mulch, his apples would be much smaller, because it helped to keep what little rain fell this season in the ground.
“Not only moisture, but when it breaks down it’s almost like having organic feeding, we get nitrogen, we get potash,” says Everett.
Overall, farmers have been concerned about the dry summer and how it would affect their crops. Their anxiety was not helped when harvest results from earlier in the summer were disappointing for some.
“Our fresh corn was just puny, we didn’t even pick it,” says Fredericton farmer Daniel Boudreau. “We left it there for the racoons to take.”
However, Boudreau’s luck changed as time went on, when the dry weather was offset by a bit of rain. He says a little bit of rain made all the difference.
“The corn now is just phenomenal,” says Boudreau. “The good thing about the dry weather, hot weather that we’ve had, corn really likes, that dry weather, it really adds sugar content to it.”
Potatoes are one of the region’s most important crops and they weren’t exempt from weather challenges either. Depending on the type of potatoes being grown and which fields received more rain, the effects on the crop will vary.
“It hasn’t been exceptional, but it hasn’t been totally poor,” says Maugerville potato farmer Buzz Harvey. “We’ve had a dry year and a lot of the time you’ll get scabs, but we haven’t had much scabbing this year.”
Harveyhopes that, if after all is said and done, he can call this an average summer.
“An average summer is good.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore