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New England News
Tue June 18, 2013
Excessive Rain Impacting Farm And Garden Crops
Incessant rain over the past few weeks has saturated farm fields and garden plots.
Backyards have puddles and farm tractors are having problems entering mud-saturated fields.
The Miner Institute is an agricultural research station in Chazy, NY, about 10 miles north of Plattsburgh. Agronomist Dr. Eric Young, a soil management specialist, says while many agricultural fields in the Northeast use what’s called a tiled drainage system to get rid of excessive water, even those fields are saturated.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Field Crop Educator Robert Perry says the excessive moisture may already be affecting harvests.
Both home gardeners and farmers face the same key problems with saturated soils, including the loss of nitrogen and soil compaction. Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County Executive Director and Horticultural Educator Amy Ivy suggests backyard gardeners can try to reroute excess water.
Essex County diary farmer Erik Leerkes pastures his cows, and the clay soil gets exceptionally wet.
Leerkes says the fields are too damp to get crops out of the field and it’s raining again today.
Agronomist Dr. Eric Young advises that farmers and gardeners may need to add nitrogen to the soil once it becomes dry enough.
Heavier clay-based soil takes longer than looser, sand-based soils to dry.