Dry weather patterns leave an effect on local farms

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Dry weather this summer is affecting central Pennsylvania farms and the fresh produce you can find in your kitchen.

Way Fruit Farm owner Jason Coopey said long periods without rain can affect the harvests of many farmers.

“If we don’t get any rain the peaches may be a bit smaller, the corn won’t be as big and so what will happen is the size will start to get involved in some of them” , said Coopey. “And for some of my younger crops, they might not grow at all.”

WTAJ chief meteorologist Joe Murgo said central Pennsylvania is experiencing a dry climate, with the sun evaporating moisture from the ground faster than it is replenishing.

“We’ve been dry longer and that can shock the plants,” Murgo said. “This can lead to differences in the production of certain crops.”

Before the rain arrived this weekend, Cooper himself experienced it.

“Crops always survive, they just don’t grow,” Coopey said.

Center County Farm Bureau President David Fetterolf said when dry weather rolls around, there’s not much farmers can do except wait for a rainy day.

“Most farmers are used to this, but every year is different,” Fetterolf said. “You need a good harvest to be able to pay the bills.”

Receive daily updates on local news, weather and sports by subscribing to the WTAJ Bulletin.

Murgo said rain can help in the short term.

“These downpours are helping some of the areas collect water for water systems and so on,” Murgo said. “But in places that have wells, if we don’t break the pattern by the end of the summer, there could be bigger problems.”