Local farmers react to drought conditions

By: Joel Schipper Email
By: Joel Schipper Email

Michiana is currently in the "extreme" stage on the drought severity index.

Farmers are working to produce as much yield as they can with the dry conditions, and consumers are paying more for the product.

Joel Schipper spoke with some local farmers at the South Bend Farmer's Market about the weather conditions.

The especially warm temperatures led to an early season for some produce.

"With the early spring it kind of made most vegetables and most plants, the producing plants, kind of start and stop," said Art Walawender.

"Normally my rhubarb is 18 to 24 inches tall, but this year if it was a foot tall it was surprising, because it stopped and started and with the freezes," he said.

Walawender said that consumers are paying more for grapes and sour cherries. He also said raspberries are coming into season early, but if they are not watered correctly, their size may be unusually small.

Farmers in Michigan are seeing the same problems. Jason Braaksma of Walt Skibbe farm

"March was so warm, it brought everything out early," said Braaksma.

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